This is it – it’s win or go home for the Yankees tonight in Game Five against the Tampa Bay Rays. Fresh off a valiant Game Four victory that saw the team’s pitching step up in a big way, the Bombers have forced the necessary Game Five to determine who advances to the ALCS. This series has been stressful so far, and fans should expect nothing different with the season on the line again tonight.
Fortunately, the Yankees can turn to the one man they trust more than any other on the mound tonight in Gerrit Cole. Cole will be pitching on just three days’ rest after last pitching Monday in Game One (which he won). He wasn’t his sharpest in that game, but bailed himself out with high heat. If he can get ahead of the Rays hitters, it should be smooth sailing. The Yankees haven’t commented on Cole’s pitch count, but knowing his demeanor and determination, I think it’s fair to expect a fairly normal 90-110 pitches from Cole even on short rest.
Meanwhile, the Rays’ pitching plan is a little more scattered. They surprisingly chose to start Tyler Glasnow on just two days’ rest after he threw 93 pitches on Tuesday, but there’s no way he can go more than two or three innings without risking serious injury. Blake Snell could be available in short relief, but the Rays are probably saving him for a potential ALCS matchup (could this be their downfall?). It will likely end up a bullpen game from the Rays in what could be their final game of the season.
This will be the first time that both Cole and Glasnow have pitched on short rest. The lineups from both managers feature few surprises.
How to watch:
Location: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV broadcast: TBS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, ESPN Radio
Online Stream: FuboTV