On with the show, this is it.
Jameson Taillon will get the start, but pretty much all hands are available today as the Yankees face off with the Guardians in the win-or-go-home Game 5 at Yankee Stadium. New York has home-field advantage and the Bronx should be electric, but anything can happen in a single game.
Taillon is nominally the starting pitcher, making his second appearance of the series after coming out of the bullpen and taking the loss in Game 2. He’s a near perfectly-average pitcher, throwing 171 innings of 100 ERA+ ball in the regular season. I imagine the Yankees are going to try to shoot for about 12 outs from him today, and Domingo Germán might end up being the first man out of the bullpen. Germán hasn’t worked in the postseason so far, and indeed was last on an MLB mound all the way back on October 5th. He’s never pitched in the playoffs at all, and this is going to be a heck of a way to make a debut. Starter Nestor Cortes will also be in the ‘pen on two days’ rest, so he could be a relief option, too.
The Guardians will send out Aaron Civale, who also hasn’t pitched since the fifth, and has had three different IL stints this season. His 4.92 ERA this season is the latest example of his roller coaster career, showing flashes of brilliance and struggling to be effective in turn. He’s always had a high HR rate though, so the Yankees should be looking to take him deep early.
Bob Costas seemed convinced that today was a bullpen game for both sides, but Terry Francona said this morning that Civale will pitch until he can’t go anymore. Tito will likely have a quick hook if the right-hander falls apart — especially because the Guardians’ four best relievers are all rested — but Civale will get a chance to work through the lineup twice.
As previously noted on PSA, Game 5 will begin in a rain delay, but both teams are really trying to get this over with tonight rather than pushing to Tuesday. May the rain stay away.
This is it, friends. Get hype.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — The Bronx, NY
7:07 pm ET Delayed; we will keep you posted
TV broadcast: TBS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380