Guardians eliminate Yankees to take ALDS 2-1 lead

CLEVELAND – The Guardians continue to fight as well as any baseball team.

Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Guardians rallied to come from behind and win Game 3 over the New York Yankees 6-5. Game 4 takes place Sunday night at Progressive Field.

Myles Straw and Steven Kwan opened the ninth with left bloop singles. Amed Rosario then hit a single to the left side of the infield that cut the Yankees’ lead to 5-4. Jose Ramirez followed with a field single that charged the bases with no one on.

With one out, Oscar Gonzalez hit a single back in the middle to win it.

Here are some quick shots from Game 3.

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Here’s a decision that could haunt the Yankees all offseason, and they’re on the ramp to a harsh winter.

Why wasn’t Clay Holmes called into a backup situation?

In a place that screamed for Holmes, it was Clarke Schmidt who entered Saturday in a critical ninth-inning jam.

Gonzalez’s two-run single, off a 1-2 slider by Schmidt with two outs, got Cleveland dancing with the win.

Afterwards, Holmes said he was able, ready and willing to pitch, while manager Aaron Boone wanted to stay away from him unless he faced an “emergency”.

Well, it’s not more urgent than that.

On a cold, windy night, Cleveland took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five ALDS, with a Game 1 rematch on Sunday night: Gerrit Cole will pitch for the Yankees playoffs, against Cal Quantrill.

“I can’t sit here and sulk over it,” Aaron Judge said, and does anyone in the Yankees universe dare to dwell on the possibility that their MVP, free agent-eligible slugger, either in his last hours with the team?

“We have to bring the energy (Sunday night)” into Game 4 winning or otherwise.

The wrong call

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge broke his ALDS slump with a quick two-run homer, Luis Severino righted the ship after a rocky start, and the Yanks took a 5-3 lead in the seventh.

But after Wandy Peralta couldn’t continue his generally good relief, lifting with one out and two runners in the ninth, Boone called on … Schmidt?

“I said I was ready to go if necessary,” said Holmes, who suffered from shoulder pain at the end of the season. “I was ready to pitch if my name was called.”

Boone first indicated on Saturday that he expected everyone to be available in his bullpen for Game 3, after Holmes threw 16 pitches in Cleveland’s 4-2 10-inning victory on Friday after noon at Yankee Stadium.

But after Saturday’s game, Boone expressed reluctance to use Holmes on consecutive days at this time.

“Although he was pretty good (Saturday) and I expect him to be available (Sunday night), we just felt like we had to stay away,” Boone said.

It seemed like a surprise to Holmes, who said he woke up on Saturday preparing to pitch.

“Sometimes those decisions aren’t mine.”

After an RBI single from Amed Rosario and a bloop single from Jose Ramirez, Schmidt knocked out Josh Naylor before Gonzalez sent everyone home.

“I don’t know their intentions,” Schmidt said of being called into a save point. He threw four sliders in the streak at Gonzalez, with the last one low but not low enough to avoid a game winner.

“We should have won that game,” Severino said, adding he was “surprised” not to see Holmes in ninth. “He’s our closest,” though Holmes fell short of his All-Star standard in the first half, when his signature lead was MLB’s nastiest pitch.

But Schmidt hasn’t matched his first-half success of late either.

The Yanks had used Lou Trivino and Jonathan Loaisiga before, and Trivino’s call-up in sixth – instead of allowing Severino to finish the inning – was due in part to shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa failing to play. .

Domingo German had warmed up earlier and was presumably available.

Lucas Luetge and Miguel Castro were the remaining relievers, but veteran southpaw Luetge is rarely used with high leverage. Castro has no role.

Jameson Taillon was saved for a possible Game 5 start on Monday, which the Yanks can only hope for now.

Yankees get homers from Judge, Cabrera and Bader

Yeah, the Yankees aren’t the tough Guardians to take out and put into play.

For Boone’s offense to operate at peak efficiency, it needs a long ball. So it’s no surprise that in Game 3, all of the Yankees’ runs are the product of home runs.

And it started with Judge, in his second at bat, batting for the first time in a while out of the top spot.

“I knew he would be fine,” the manager said of Judge before the game, believing there was no need to give his slugger advance notice of the change.

After his first-inning strikeout against Triston McKenzie, Judge smashed a game-tying two-run 449-foot homer to center McKenzie in the third.

And then the homers came from places less than expected – the bats of rookie Oswaldo Cabrera (two-run hit over McKenzie in the fifth) and Harrison Bader (solo, off southpaw Sam Hentges in the seventh).

Both of these bats were flipped – Cabrera’s tossed into the air, Bader’s sent spinning towards the visitor shelter.

Guardians eliminate Yankees to take ALDS 2-1 lead

USA Today

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