The Yankees and Indians play the deciding Game 5 of the ALDS on Wednesday night in Cleveland at 8:08 p.m.
The winner will advance to face the Astros in the ALCS, which begins on Friday night.
|Francisco Lindor, SS||Brett Gardner, LF|
|Jason Kipnis, CF||Aaron Judge, RF|
|Jose Ramirez, 2B||Didi Gregorius, SS|
|Edwin Encarnacion, DH||Gary Sanchez, C|
|Carlos Santana, 1B||Greg Bird, 1B|
|Austin Jackson, LF||Starlin Castro, 2B|
|Jay Bruce, RF||Aaron Hicks, CF|
|Roberto Perez, C||Jacoby Ellsbury, DH|
|Giovanny Urshela, 3B||Todd Frazier, 3B|
Who is starting for the Yankees?
LHP CC Sabathia, who allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits while walking three and striking out five in 5 1/3 innings during his Game 2 start.
Who is starting for the Indians?
RHP Corey Kluber, who allowed six runs (including two homers) on seven hits while walking one and striking out four in 2 2/3 innings during his Game 2 start.
1. Repeat Game 2 mindset
The Yankees were patient enough against Kluber the first time around and were able to take advantage of mistakes when they came their way. The Yanks can't expect Kluber to be off again, so a patient approach is that much more imperative.
2. Four or five and fly
If the Yankees have a lead or are within a run or two in the fourth or fifth inning, don't be surprised to see Joe Girardi go to the bullpen regardless of Sabathia's performance. Girardi understands and maintains confidence that his bullpen can string together zeroes. With all of the Yankees relievers rested, there will be few, if any, limits placed on the bullpen arms.
3. Clean play with decisive managing
The Yankees cannot afford to allow Game 5 jitters to force errors in the field or cause mental ones on the bases. Providing the Indians with extra outs or the Yankees running into outs will have detrimental effects. So too would indecision from Girardi. We've seen the Yankees skipper demonstrate impressive instincts in the postseason (pulling Luis Severino in the first inning of the wild card game) and miss the boat (Game 2 replay refusal). In a decisive Game 5, Girardi must be ready to make the tough calls.