Did Yankees actually benefit from ALDS Game 5 postponement?
After making everyone in attendance wait until 9:45 p.m. ET for a game that was supposed to start at 7:07 p.m. ET, Major League Baseball postponed Monday night’s ALDS Game 5 between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians. It’ll now take place on Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. ET.
This series was already turned upside down when Game 2 got rained out, which forced Games 2, 3, 4 and 5 to be played on consecutive days with no rest in between the two travel days.
Now, both sides get one rest day back … but who does it benefit more? More importantly, does it benefit the Yankees at all?
Heading into Game 5 on Monday night, the Yankees technically had the “edge.” They were starting Jameson Taillon against Aaron Civale (4.92 ERA in 20 starts this year and hasn’t pitched since Oct. 5). Taillon, despite being the Yankees’ fourth postseason starter, had 25 starts of three earned runs or fewer this season. He’s been pretty darn good.
Meanwhile, this truncated schedule put the Guardians at a disadvantage because they were unable to use ace Shane Bieber, who would’ve been on just two days of rest on Monday. Now, he’ll be on three days of rest and will be available out of the bullpen.
Who benefits more from ALDS Game 5 PPD? Yankees or Guardians?
So that’s one advantage for Cleveland. A few benefits for the Yankees, though? They are now going to start Cortes on short rest. Then again, nobody’s ever seen Cortes on short rest, so we don’t know what to expect. On paper, however, he’s way better than Civale.
Another plus for the Bombers is that their decimated bullpen got a much-needed extra day of rest. Guys like Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes really needed it. Sure helps that Jonathan Loaisiga and Lou Trivino got a breather, too.
As for Cleveland, their best bullpen arms in Emmanuel Clase, James Karinchak and Trevor Stephan were already rested, so they didn’t necessarily gain anything outside of having Eli Morgan, Cody Morris and Zac Plesac fresh after pitching on Sunday. They can go full-out all hands on deck with one of the best bullpens in baseball.
In the end, Terry Francona’s approach doesn’t really change. Same idea with a few more options in the mix.
Then, of course, there’s the day game dilemma. With Game 5 now scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Yankees will have to confront their bad record in playoff day games since 2002 (8-16) with their most recent loss coming last Friday in a 4-2 stinker vs Cleveland. The Guardians over that same span? 6-7. Not a winning record, but not as imbalanced as 8-16.
Finally, and this hurts both teams, but should the Yankees advance to the ALCS, they’ll face the Houston Astros … on Wednesday. Meaning they will travel to Houston right after Tuesday’s result (should they win) and have no rest before diving into a seven-game set (with only ONE day of rest) against the AL’s best team, who will have enjoyed three straight days off after their sweep of the Mariners.
The Yankees could’ve made this a whole lot easier on themselves by winning, but of course it was never going to be that simple. And now fans are stuck wondering if this postponement actually did them any good as the do-or-die game with the Guardians approaches.