NEW YORK (AP) — The deciding Game 5 of the AL Division Series between the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees was rain-delayed and rescheduled for Tuesday at 4:07 p.m.
Both teams practiced batting Monday ahead of the scheduled 7:07 p.m. start. Major League Baseball announced a postponement at 6:20 p.m., rain began to fall at 7:30 p.m., and the postponement was announced at 9:38 p.m.
“If the weather is an issue, I don’t necessarily want to go through that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said at around 4 p.m.
Cleveland center fielder Myles Straw, who found himself in an angry confrontation with Yankees fans in April, threw a football with fans in the first and second decks during the delay, as did the backup fielder Will Brennan.
The center field video board showed split-screen coverage of New York’s 3-0 win over Miami in the Major League Soccer playoffs, the New York Rangers’ NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks and of the Denver Broncos’ NFL game against the San Diego Chargers.
It was the second postponement of the series after Game 2 at Yankee Stadium was pushed back a day to Friday afternoon.
Cleveland or New York will start the AL Championship Series in Houston on Wednesday night.
Aaron Civale was scheduled to start Monday for the Guardians and Jameson Taillon for the Yankees. The postponement allows New York All-Star Nestor Cortes and Cleveland ace Shane Bieber to start three days off – although the Guardians are expected to stay with Civale.
A strained right shoulder limited Bieber to 16 games last year, and manager Terry Francona said last week the team was reluctant to start the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner on a short rest – even before the rains of the series does occur.
“You never just want to say no. But I think (pitching coach Carl Willis) and I both felt that we weren’t leaning towards that as an option that we really wanted to do, just because of what he went through and everything.” , Francona said last Thursday.
Cleveland has struggled with inclement weather all season. The young Guardians were hosed down nine times at home and had two further postponements on the road, one due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
After losing the series opener last week, Cleveland won Games 2 and 3, overcoming a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to win Game 3 6-5. The Yankees won 4-2 Sunday night in Cleveland to force a playoff return to New York.
The rain gives the Yankees a day to rest their beleaguered and beleaguered bullpen.
New York used Clay Holmes for 17 pitches and Wandy Peralta for seven on Sunday, a night after Peralta threw 27, Clarke Schmidt 12, Jonathan Loáisiga 15 and Lou Trivino seven. Peralta had thrown three straight days.
The Yankees are missing Chad Green, Scott Effross, Zack Britton, Michael King and Ron Marinaccio through injuries, and Aroldis Chapman was dropped from the series roster after failing to show up for a mandatory practice Oct. 7.
Cleveland hasn’t used its best relievers since Friday, when All-Star closest Emmanuel Clase threw 33 pitches after Trevor Stephan threw 21 and James Karinchak 29.
The Guardians used Sam Hentges (31), Enyel De Los Santos (19) and Eli Morgan (12) on Saturday, and Morgan (23), Cody Morris (22) and Zach Plesac (11) on Saturday.
Cortes threw 92 pitches in five innings Friday. Bieber threw 101 pitches over 5 2/3 innings in the same game, which Cleveland won 4-2 in 10 innings.
PLAY ON THE COURT
New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton could see time in left field in Houston if the Yankees advance. He was limited to DH and pinching, and he last played in the outfield on July 21, before being on the disabled list for a month with left Achilles tendonitis.
Yankees: Marinaccio (right shin) and fellow RHP Frankie Montas (inflamed right shoulder) could be available if the Yankees face Houston. Marinaccio last pitched on October 2 and Montas on September 16. … D’Andrew Benintendi, who hasn’t played since Sept. 2, received an injection in his right wrist and likely wouldn’t be available against the Astros.
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