NEW YORK — The Yankees didn’t anticipate speeding throughout their American League Division Series; they’re just too grateful towards their Guardians and the general quality of the competition at the league that the manager Aaron Boone calls “the highest level in the land” to express their thoughts on the same lines. They certainly hoped that they could have a better path than this.
Giancarlo Stanton’s first home run indicated that the Yankees might be able to hit into a good lead in the series but the Bombers bats remained silent. Instead two poor-hit bloops from the 10th innings hit the grass, when the Yankees were defeated by the Guardians 4-2 in Game 2 on Friday on the field at Yankee Stadium, tying the five best ALDS at one win each.
“We’ve had adversity throughout this whole long season on our way to winning the division,” said Aaron Judge, who struck out four times, and is unhit throughout the ALDS (0-for-8 seven strikeouts and just one walk). “This isn’t a new thing to us. We’ve got our people in this room who are ready to get out and finish this project.”
For Division Series with the current 2-2-1 format (excluding the 2020 series that is played on neutral sites) there are 39 previous instances where teams split in the initial two matches. In the 39 series, the team that was back home to play Games 3 and 4 advanced 26 times (67 percent).).
“We never thought this was going to be easy,” Boone said. Boone. “We’ll take the plane to Clevelandand attempt to get one tomorrow. There’s nothing new for us. We’ve had a lot of challenges this season, and especially in the second half the season.”
Stanton’s first-inning homer was the centerpiece of the Yankees their offensive output and was the 10th home run in the playoffs in his professional career. Stanton was clearly furious when a pitch that was 3-1 down and away was deemed an error by the home-plate umpire Jeremie Rehak. Stanton dropped Shane Bieber’s subsequent pitch into the seats in right field for a double-hit homer.
“You’ve got to lock it back in,” Stanton declared. “If I stayed worried about that, I wouldn’t have been able to hit that homer.”
This is where Bieber shut the floodgates, which is a hallmark for the Cleveland squad that’s put its hopes on the quality of its pitching and on time hitting. While fan-favorite Nestor Kortes held Cleveland to just two runs in five innings during his first playoff appearance in the playoffs, the Yanks were able to score just six hits with five coming off Bieber who pitched for 5 1/3 innings.
Cortes said that the Yankees were going to “punch back” in Game 3 but it’s noteworthy that Judge’s record-breaking regular season has not been carried into the playoffs. In this game in the ALDS, Judge is hitless with seven strikeouts. The one that was the last to draw some applause from a crowd of 47,535 – an event that would have been not possible one week ago.
“He’s going to be fine,” Stanton stated. “We’ve got two out of three to win, and he’s going to help us do that.”
Boone checked his lineup card in hopes of finding someone to get through by delivering a huge October moment. The Yanks called to Matt Carpenter to hit with two players on the sixth inning, the mustachioed veteran’s first bat after fracturing his right foot August. 8. Carpenter hit a home run in the sixth against Trevor Stephan, a former Yankee farmhand who was unable to play against Cleveland during the 2019 Rule 5 Draft.
“I wanted him to win the game,” Boone declared. “That’s our chance right there. It’s not possible to wait forever. There will be no end to the waiting.”
The Cleveland bullpen was a tough match for the Yanks did not let the ball go and their only runner to get to the plate on a walker would be Anthony Rizzo, who lofted an eighth-inning single against the closer Emmanuel Clase. New York loaded the bases with three walks in the eighth innings against James Karinchak. Clase ended the game by retiring Kyle Higashioka to end the game with a lineout that broke a string of nine consecutive Yankees to walk or get struck out.
“It was just a tough day all around,” Isiah Kiner-Falefa told. “We were unable to get the big hit we needed.”
The Yankees have had 23 walk-off wins in their rich history however, none have been since Raul Ibanez won game 3 in the 2012 ALDS in the ALDS against the Orioles by hitting a 12-inning homer. It was not a brand new page to be written on Friday, instead the Guardians were ahead, taking benefit of soft contact.
In the midst of Jameson Taillon making his first relief appearance of his career after 143 prior starts, Jose Ramirez hit a pop-fly single in front the left-fielder Oswaldo Cabrera, who slid but could not catch the ball. Josh Donaldson’s careless throw to the second base caused Ramirez to advance and Oscar Gonzalez knocked in the lead via a bloop single right-hand side of an infield drawn-in.
Josh Naylor doubled over the center fielder’s head Harrison Bader as Cleveland padded its advantage, delivering the reminder that nobody inside the Yanks dugout required.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Donaldson declared. “We knew it was going to be a fight.”