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ALCS Game 3: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

The Yankees’ ace takes the ball on this must-win affair.

Syndication: The Record Chris Pedota, via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Yankees dropped two close contests to open up the American League Championship Series in Houston, and while it is natural to look at each of those games and acknowledge that they could’ve easily gone another way, the reality is that the Yankees are in a hole right now. A loss in Game 3 would be devastating and all but a death knell on the 2022 season.

The term “must-win” is seldom used with true respect for its meaning, but as far as a must-win affair goes, a Game 3 in a best-of-seven, in which you’re trailing 2-0 to one of the best teams in the sport, well, that’s an irrefutable must-win game. That's without going into other aspects that surround the context of this series and game, too.

Gerrit Cole will take the ball for the Yankees against Cristian Javier, who hasn’t pitched in Yankee Stadium since he threw seven no-hit innings en route to a combined no-no from the Astros’ pitching staff on that infamous Sunday afternoon earlier in the year.

Even in a matchup that should theoretically give the Yankees their biggest advantage in the mound, it’s pertinent to highlight that if you overlook the gap in innings pitched, Javier actually had a statically more dominant year than Cole, which shows the sort of elite pitching, that Houston as a whole is carrying.

Aaron Boone continues to shuffle the lineup, as he looks for that spark to ignite the Yankees’ offense, which will carry not only their third different batting order in as many games in this ALCS but also its third leadoff hitter, as Anthony Rizzo gets the nod against the hard-throwing righty Javier. Oswaldo Cabrera will play shortstop, and Giancarlo Stanton gets the nod in left field at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2019 (Matt Carpenter will DH).

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 5:07 pm ET

TV broadcast: TBS

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, ESPN Radio / KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010, ESPN Radio

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