The New York Yankees’ run through the gauntlet of their 2022 American League Division Series showdown with the Cleveland Guardians has somewhat mirrored the long season. They surged to an advantage by winning Game 1 and grabbing an early lead in Game 2, only to see it fade away due to an incredibly frustrating 14 innings of baseball between the second half of Game 2 and the chaotic Game 3 that ended in walk-off heartbreak. Then, just when optimism was at its lowest, they rallied to win Game 4 on the road.
Now, the rollercoaster 2022 Yankees season comes down to this: a winner-take-all ALDS Game 5 against the Guardians at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx will be bumping tonight, as fans will hope that the New York pitching staff behind Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes, and Mo knows who else finds some way to outlast Cleveland to earn another American League Champion Series showdown with those pestilent Houston Astros.
The men on the mound have their own work to do, but it will be the New York offense’s responsibility to rout Cleveland’s Game 5 starter, Aaron Civale. That’s to say nothing of all the weapons in the Guardians’ bullpen, too, as Emmanuel Clase, James Karinchak, and more will be available. Here’s who the Yankees will dispatch to push them through to the next round:
Satisfied with what he saw out of yesterday’s edition of the Yankees lineup, manager Aaron Boone will roll out the exact same starting nine. Once again, Isiah Kiner-Falefa is glued to the bench with Oswaldo Cabrera back at shortstop and in the No. 6 hole. The fact that IKF is not playing in back-to-back elimination games should say something about how the Yankees think he’s crumpled in this ALDS. He didn’t deserve to start at shortstop again after the team succeeded without him in Game 4.
The top of the lineup features Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Josh Donaldson. Harrison Bader will look to continue his scalding-hot ALDS in the No. 7 hole; perhaps he has a fourth homer in his bat! He is more than welcome to continue his best Bernie Williams impression.
At the bottom of the order, Jose Trevino will still be behind the plate and Aaron Hicks makes his second consecutive start. I will reiterate my stance from Game 4 that Oswald Peraza should just be on this roster to handle shortstop while Cabrera remains in left field, but oh well. Hopefully this offense has enough to propel itself to the ALCS.
We’ll close the lineup review in the same straightforward manner as we did yesterday: Let’s go Yankees.