The New York Yankees faced off against Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 of the ALDS on Tuesday night. With Gerrit Cole on the mound, the Bombers were looking to put their best foot forward after Cleveland was forced to use their top two pitchers against the Tampa Bay Rays during the Wild Card round.
While Cole had a polarizing regular season, he was solid in his first postseason outing of the season. Across 6.1 innings, Cole gave up four hits, and just one earned run, striking out eight batters. The only run he allowed came off the bat of Steven Kwon on a solo shot at the top of the 3rd inning.
However, he worked his way out of trouble and showed resiliency throughout the contest, helping the Yankees stifle Cleveland in the first game of the series.
Offensively, the Bombers tallied five hits, and four earned runs, receiving homers from Anthony Rizzo and Harrison Bader. Bader tied the game up at the bottom of the 3rd after Kwon hit his solo shot, lasering the ball to left field.
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The Yankees’ star of the game was Anthony Rizzo:
However, Rizzo was undoubtedly the star of the game, providing ample run support and playing fantastic defense, scooping a few balls out of the dirt that otherwise would’ve caused trouble.
Superstar slugger Aaron Judge had a tumultuous start to his playoff campaign, striking out three times on four at-bats but worked a walk which ended up becoming a run courtesy of Rizzo.
As for the bullpen, Jonathan Loáisiga, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes combined for three innings of efficient play. Loáisiga gave up two hits immediately, but Peralta bailed him out, showcasing his value coming off the injured list due to a back injury.
Winning Game 1 at home was essential for the Yankees, especially against Cleveland’s No. 3 pitcher in Cal Quantrill, but things will be a bit more difficult when Shane Bieber takes the mound on Thursday against Nestor Cortés.