Stanton, Judge HR’s, Cortes Carry Yanks to ALDS Title! NY 5 Cleveland 1

Giancarlo Stanton hits 3-run Homer in 1st inning -- the eventual game winner.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 1st, Aaron Judge hit a homer in the bottom of the 2nd, and Nestor Cortes Jr on short rest pitched 5 strong innings to carry the Yanks to a 5-1 win in a do-or-die 5th game at an electric Yankee Stadium.

The Yankee bullpen — Jonathan Loaisiga, Clay Holmes, and Wandy Peralta — also threw down — 4 shutout innings. The Yanks 5th run came in the 5th on a Gleyber Torres walk, stolen base, and score on an Anthony Rizzo single.

The Yanks take the ALDS series 3 games to 2 over Cleveland — coming back from a 2 games to 1 disadvantage. NY takes on Houston tonite, flying there after a short victory celebration afterwards.

“I was a little nervous, because I knew the fans and everybody was waiting for our victory,” said Cortes afterwards. “But incredible atmosphere, incredible feelings — just happy to be here.’ Cortes credited Giancarlo’s homer as huge. “I knew from that moment on all I had to do was throw strikes and get us as deep as possible.”

The game had been postponed from the night before due to rain — when fans waited 3 hours before MLB made their decision at nearly 10pm. The game started at 4pm, meaning many fans had to rearrange work/school plans at last minute to come — and yet Yankee Stadium was sold out, filled to the brim with 48,000 fans who were Loud throughout.

1. Stanton 3-run Blast Puts NY Up 3-0

Cleveland started Aaron Civale as their “opener”, even though Shane Bieber had become available due to the rainout the night before — albiet he’d be pitching on short rest. Manager Terry Francona revealed later he had no intentions of using Bieber unless it was an emergency situation and all pitchers were expended.

Civale has had a tough year: 5-6 4.92. after a breakout 12-5 3.84 year in 2021. Civale had a stint on the Injured List early in the season and had an ERA over 7.00 in his first 10 starts, but had an ERA close to 3.00 in his last 10 starts of the season.

The Yanks Pounced on him — Gleyber Torres led off the game with a walk, Aaron Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit with a pitch, and Giancarlo Stanton launched a 3-run homer to opposite field right for a 3-0 Yankee lead.

“We definitely had to throw the first punch in a game like this,” said Giancarlo afterwards. “With runners in scoring position I was just trying to make sure I got a good pitch to hit, and make sure I didn’t hit into a double play; hit a ball in the air — and it worked out.”

Josh Donaldson followed Stanton’s homer with an infield single and Civale was yanked for Sam Hentges.

2. Judge HR

Aaron Judge lit Hentges up with a homer to opposite field right in the bottom of the 2nd and NY was up 4-0 just like that.

3. Cortes Brilliant

Meanwhile Nestor Cortes Jr was throwing down. He stranded a runner in the 1st and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd before running into trouble in the 3rd due to poor defense behind him.

After a leadoff single by Austin Hedges, Cortes got Myles Straw to foul out and Steven Kwan to hit a bloop fly to left that was easily catchable — but Aaron Hicks seemed to casually run in for the ball, while Yankee infielders Josh Donaldson and shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera raced out to it.

Oswaldo called for it; so did Hicks at the last second; both got their glove on it and collided; the ball falling fair and it was 1st and 3rd, 1 out.

Hicks had a bead on the ball and got there on time — so his seemingly casual run in can be explained — but didn’t seem to take charge. Hicks went down with a leg injury that will take 6 weeks to heal — he is out of the playoffs.

Meanwhile Cortes walked Amed Rosario to load the bases with 1 out. But he hung tough — getting Jose Ramirez on a sac fly to center and Oscar Gonzalez to fly out to left.

After that, Nestor motored — getting a 1-2-3 inning in the 4th and 5th. He was lifted after 5 innings and got the win. His line, on short rest: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 K’s, 1 walk.

4. Gleyber Gets a Small Ball Run

Gleyber Torres got Cortes and the Yanks a run in the bottom of the 5th — he led off with a walk, stole 2nd while Judge was striking out, and scored on an Anthony Rizzo single. NY 5 Cleveland 1.

5. Loaisiga 100 MPH Heat

Jonathan Loaisiga came in for the 6th and immediately got in trouble, allowing leadoff singles to Rosario and Ramirez. A groundout moved them to 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out.

But Loaisiga got Josh Naylor to line out to Gleyber Torres at 2nd, and struck out Gabriel Arias with 100-MPH sinkers to end the threat.

Loaisiga pitched a shutout 7th — strikeout, single, groundout, groundout — to take the game to the 8th with a 5-1 NY lead.

6. Holmes Sinker Sinking

Jonathan Holmes pitched the 8th, and good news for Yankee fans — his sinker was sinking again, as it has been the last few appearances by him. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out 2.

7. Wandy the Save

Wandy Peralta pitched the 9th — with a day’s rest due to the rainout. “His pitches have a lot of life” said Ron Darling on the national broadcast — called by Frankie’sTwoLoud the night before, who amidst the demoralization of the rainout after 3 hours wait tweeted, “can you imagine how nasty tío Wandy is gonna be with 1 day of rest.”

Wandy got Josh Naylor to groundout to start the inning — as Yankee Stadium rained cheers and mocked Naylor with “rock my baby” gestures. Wandy then allowed an infield single to Arias, and struck out Andres Gimenez, allowed a single to Luke Maile, before getting Myles Straw on a groundout to Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop who flipped to Gleyber Torres at 2nd for the old ballgame. And ALDS series win.


  • Aaron Judge led off the 7th with a single and went 2-4 on the day, raising his average in the 5-game series to .200 — which was higher than the Yankee team batting average of .183.
  • Gleyber Torres went 0-3 but had 2 important walks — stole 2nd base both times, and scored both times.
  • Wandy Peralta pitched in all 5 games of the ALDS series, becoming the 1st pitcher to ever do that.
  • Josh Naylor had a good reaction to the “You’re My Baby” mock response of the Yankee Stadium crowd: “That was so sick. That was honestly like a dream come true as a kid; playing in an environment like this where they’ve got diehard fans, it’s cool … The fact I got that going thru the whole stadium, that was sick.”
  • Game highlight video.

The Boxscore

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.