NEW YORK — Weather permitting, the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians will conclude their ALDS matchup Monday night with Game 5 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won Game 4 in Cleveland on Sunday to force the winner-take-all Game 5. Loser goes home, winner faces the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Here’s how you can watch Game 5.
When Game 5 begins, someone unexpectedly available will be in New York’s bullpen: Gerrit Cole. New York’s Game 4 starter threw 110 pitches in seven innings Sunday night, though he told manager Aaron Boone he available to pitch in Game 5. Boone said he would be hesitant to use Cole, though he didn’t entirely rule it out either.
“I’d be hesitant, yeah,” Boone said prior to Game 5. “He’s already told me he’s available. I’d probably be a little hesitant to use him, but you never know where the day takes you.”
A pitcher coming out of the bullpen the day after a postseason start would not be unprecedented. In Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, Hall of Famer and then-Arizona Diamondbacks ace Randy Johnson came out of the bullpen to retire all four batters he faced the day after throwing seven innings and 104 pitches. Johnson was the Game 7’s winning pitcher.
Cole was prepared to come out of the bullpen for the Astros in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, though he never got into the game because then-manager AJ Hinch only wanted to use him with a late lead. Cole had started Game 5 three days earlier, so that situation was much different than this year’s. He had plenty of rest leading into Game 7 in 2019.
In terms of rest, New York’s bullpen is in much worse shape than Cleveland’s heading into Game 5. Their top relievers have were used heavily in Games 2-4, including lefty Wandy Peralta pitching in all three games.