New York Yankees Force Game-5 In Divisional Series
CLEVELAND -- The New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole for games like this. With the Yankees' 99-win season on the brink, Cole spun seven sparkling innings, propelling New York to a 4-2 win over the upstart Cleveland Guardians on Sunday as the Bombers knotted the American League Division Series at two games apiece.
"He just kept making pitches all night long," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I thought he was just really in command of the moment, and it was obviously a huge start for us and for him. And to get us that deep in the game set us up real nice."
The last of those pitches was a 98 mph fastball that struck out Guardians pinch hitter Will Brennan. As he stalked off the mound, Cole pumped his arms and screamed, the intensity on his face suggesting a person who knew he had done the job he was asked to do.
With Cole reducing the workload of the New York bullpen to six batters, Boone was able to use closer Clay Holmes for three outs in the eighth and lefty Wandy Peralta to finish it off in the ninth. Both hurlers faced the segment of the Guardians' order with which they best matched up, just as Boone would have scripted it.
While the Yankees' beleaguered bullpen appears to be in good shape for the finale, so too will be Cleveland's bullpen after manager Terry Francona avoided using any of his big three relievers -- Emmanuel Clase, James Karinchak and Trevor Stephan -- during the two games in Cleveland.
In other words, it's going to be all hands on deck as the $68 million Guardians try to knock off the $246 million Yankees.
Tonights game from the Bronx on ESPN 102.3/AM 1000 KSOO begins at 6:00 PM.
Jameson Taillon (14-5) will take the mound for the Yankees while Aaron Civale (5-6) leads the Guardians.
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