NEW YORK — The ALDS is now a best-of-three. Friday afternoon Oscar Gonzalez and a dominant bullpen performance delivered the Cleveland Guardians a 10-inning 4-2 win (box score) in Game 2 against the New York Yankees. The series heads to Cleveland Saturday night tied at a game apiece.
New York jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to Giancarlo Stanton’s first inning home run, but the Guardians rallied to tie the game in the middle innings, then found grass with some weak pop ups in the tenth inning to take the lead. Cleveland’s bullpen held the Yankees to one single in 4 1/3 innings.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The 2022 American League Division Series between the Guardians and Yankees comes to Cleveland for Game 3 on Saturday night. First pitch is at 7:37 p.m. Eastern.
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Cleveland scored twice in the 10th inning thanks to RBIs by Oscar Gonzalez and Josh Naylor to win Game 2, 4-2, on Friday and tie the series. Emmanuel Clase pitched the final 2.1 innings for Cleveland in the win.
Here are four takeaways from Game 2:
Stanton homered after he should have walked
Shane Bieber got a gift call from home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak in the first inning (or so he thought). His 3-1 cutter to Giancarlo Stanton was called a strike even though it was below the zone and off the plate a little. Here’s the pitch location:
If the 3-1 pitch is called a ball and Stanton walks, perhaps the next batter (Josh Donaldson) makes an out to end the inning and strand the two runners. Or maybe he hits a three-run homer. Who knows? What we do know is the strike call extended the at-bat and gave Stanton another chance to do damage, and he capitalized.
With that homer, Stanton has gone deep nine times in his last 12 postseason games, and he has 10 homers through 20 career postseason games. Only Carlos Beltrán (11) had more homers through 20 career postseason games. Stanton entered 2022 as a career .288/.372/.712 hitter in the postseason. The 2017 NL MVP has been a one-man wrecking crew in October.
Cortes saved his own bacon
From the seat of his pants, no less. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Myles Straw chopped a comebacker up the middle that Cortes reached up and grabbed. He came down and landed on his behind, yet was still able to make the throw to first base to get the out. Straw is one of the fastest players in baseball. Cortes had no time to spare.
Cleveland was rewarded for contact
No team in baseball put the ball in play more often than the Guardians this season, and in the tenth inning, that contact ability was rewarded with two bloop hits to win the game. First, José Ramírez dunked what should have been a single to shallow left, but because he hustled to second on the play, Josh Donaldson rushed the throw and it sailed wide of the second base, allowing Ramírez to get to third with no outs. A little ball-in-play luck and a little hustle set Cleveland up.
The next batter, Oscar Gonzalez, fell behind in the count 0-2, fouled away a couple of pitches to work it back to 1-2, then plopped a go-ahead single to right. The ball was perfectly placed between first baseman Aaron Rizzo and right fielder Aaron Judge.