Much has been made (including by myself) about the verkakte planning of the second game of this American League Division Series between the Yankees and Guardians. But what’s done is done, and while I’m sure neither team is particularly happy about it, they’re on equal footing. So it’s time to shrug it off and prepare for this Friday afternoon matchup — the earliest such playoff start in the Bronx since 2006. Coincidentally, the Padres are also prepping for their first postseason game at Petco Park since 2006. So fire up that MySpace, turn up the My Chemical Romance, post your island theories for season three of “Lost,” and let’s get ready for Game 2.
Once again, 62-homer man Aaron Judge will bat leadoff, and he’ll be looking for his first playoff hit of 2022 after settling for just a walk on Tuesday amid three strikeouts. He’ll be followed by Anthony Rizzo, fresh off a key Game 1 blast that provided insurance runs, and the one-two punch of Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton, who were held mostly in check during the playoff opener but have distinguished themselves in many postseasons game past.
The Nos. 5 and 6 spots are the only real tweaks from Game 1. Josh Donaldson reached in all three plate appearances on Tuesday while Oswaldo Cabrera struck out twice and went hitless, so the rookie was bumped down to No. 5. I would say that Donaldson had a perfect Game 1 and that it unquestionably makes sense, but, well.
The 7-8-9 will once again be Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jose Trevino, and Harrison Bader. No one’s going to confuse this group for Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Bob Meusel, but they all contributed to Yankees runs in Game 1. Bader homered for the first run, and after Kiner-Falefa moved to third on an Oscar Gonzalez error fielding the shortstop’s single, Trevino drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Bottom-of-the-order contributions are always appreciated and can often be the difference between wins and losses.
So what are your thoughts on this starting nine? Can they make like 2020 and get to Bieber early? Let us know.