It took over three hours of deliberating, but MLB finally decided to can Monday’s ALDS Game 5, with the game rescheduled for 4:07pm ET on Tuesday from Yankee Stadium. The league provided essentially no updates to fans waiting in the stands until finally announcing the rainout at 9:36pm ET. It was not a banner day for MLB public relations.
The postponement does allow the Yankees to rest their beleaguered relief corps and opens up the possibility for expanded usage from starters if they need to do that. Apparently, Terry Francona indicated in the pregame that Shane Bieber would NOT start for the Guardians tomorrow, and that Aaron Civale would still get the ball. I’m not sure I believe him, but if it’s true this is also good news for the Yankees.
If it’s not true, the Yankees have their work cut out for them tomorrow, as Bieber showed why he’s such a tough test for the club in Game 2. Even on short rest, he’s the type of pitcher to live in the shadow zone of the plate, with pitches close enough that you have to swing even if you can’t do damage on them. Giancarlo Stanton certainly seems to see Bieber well, as he took the righty deep on Friday night, but that was the only damage the club could muster.
Aaron Boone hasn’t made any comments at press time about his plans changing, but it’s at least possible that they decide to eschew Jameson Taillon for Nestor Cortes. Nestor wasn’t quite at his best on Friday, allowing two runs in five innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Still, we know what his ceiling is and how he can take over a game, and in one as pivotal as Game 5, he might be the move (again, even on short rest). Should you advance, Game 1 of a best-of-seven is the game that matters the least, so the risk of a weaker starter — like Taillon — is somewhat hedged. At the very least, it now seems like a distinct possibility that we’ll see Cortes pitch in some capacity.
Of course, the big downside is the loss of a much-needed off day to travel to Houston. Whoever wins tomorrow will board a plane to Texas and face the best team in the American League, after playing four games in five days, and sticking through a three-hour rain delay to boot. Justin Verlander must be licking his chops. The Yankees can’t worry about that now, though. It must be tough mentally to get yourself up for a game like today, only to have it be washed out and do it all again tomorrow, but they have no choice.
Cortes starting for Yankees tomorrow.— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) October 18, 2022
It seems that Nasty Nestor will indeed get the Game 5 nod on three days’ rest. Get pumped.