In order to complete the series reversal and head to the ALCS against Houston, the Yankees must once again get through Indians ace Corey Kluber back in Cleveland.
No one expected Kluber to be done after three innings in Game 2 as the Yankees plated six runs of the AL Cy Young candidate. CC Sabathia also started in that game, and though he allowed the Indians to get back in it, he thrived when the Yankees stretched the lead.
This is why OF Brett Gardner is confident in Sabathia to lead to Yankees to victory.
"I love it. I don't like it, I love it," Gardner told the NY Daily News about the pitching matchup. "I feel great about it. We all love playing behind CC. He's a big-game pitcher and there's no bigger game than this. Hopefully, there will be down the road in a few weeks."
"But he obviously stepped up at their place against Kluber, so we'll try it all over again and see if we can hopefully play more games at Yankee Stadium."
Cleveland used to be Sabathia's place back when it was Jacobs Field, and he was a young ace. He may not be the Sabathia of his prime at the ripe age of 36, but he is more than capable of pitching in big games.
It is why the Yankees like their chances as their ability to get to Kluber and force his shortest outing of the year sends confidence throughout the locker room.
"I think any time you get to a certain pitcher, you have to have confidence," Chase Headley said. "He's been tough on us this year, on everyone. We got to him last time, but that works both ways, too."
"I'm not going to say he's scared of us, by any means. I don't think that at all. But he has to know that we're capable of getting to him."
Kluber heads into Game 5 well rested, and though the Yankees beam with confidence, they must know he will likely not make the same mistakes twice.
But that doesn't mean the Yankees won't be coming to the plate ready to do what many teams viewed as possible this season.
"It definitely gives us some confidence going in. We have a good idea of the kind of stuff that he has," Gardner said. "He's a great pitcher, maybe the Cy Young winner...But we'll try to get CC some runs early in the game and go from there."
Before his start against the Yankees, Kluber was 4-1 with a 1.47 ERA. Sabathia is 9-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 19 postseason starts in his career.