Cole, Bader pivot Yankees’ ALDS comeback forcing Game 5

Gerrit Cole and Harrison Bader in ALDS Game 4.

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On Sunday night, the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians in ALDS Game 4 thanks to starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and their new star Harrison Bader. The duo rescued the Yankees from the brink of elimination by giving them a vital Game 4 victory and forcing the Guardians to play Game 5 on Monday.

After a 4-2 win on Sunday at Progressive Field, the Yankees came back from a one-game deficit to tie the series at 2-2 and set up a decisive game in the best-of-five series. Gerrit Cole held the Guardians without giving them much scope to hit while Harrison Bader hit a home run in the second innings to give the Yankees an early lead that they never gave up. These two saved New York’s playoff season.

Harrison Bader put the Yankees in lead early

The Yankees scored first, beating the Guardians to the plate before they even had a chance to hit. After getting on the board with a single to start the game, Gleyber Torres advanced to second base safely and eventually scored when Anthony Rizzo reached base.

The Yankees were able to extend their lead to 3-0 after center fielder Harrison Bader hit a two-run homer in the second inning of the game. Here is the blast:

It traveled 429 feet and was Bader’s third home run in the ALDS. He didn’t hit a home run in 14 regular-season games for the Yankees this season. When he was in St. Louis before arriving in New York, Bader hit five times in 72 games for the Cardinals. ESPN Stats and Info says “this is only the third time in Yankees history that a center fielder has homered three times in a single postseason, joining Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams.”

Ace Cole held the fort against the Guardians

The Yankees were in danger of losing the series and needed a big performance from their best pitcher after losing Game 3. Cole did a great job for seven innings and allowed only one run to Cleveland in the third inning when José Ramrez hit a blooper that shouldn’t have been a hit.

Josh Naylor hit a home run in the fourth inning, which was the only big run Cole gave up. Cole has now given up a home run in eight straight playoff games, which is tied with Yu Darvish for the MLB record.

After that, Cole locked it in. He then got rid of the next 10 batters he faced and 12 of the last 13 he faced.

Cole threw 110 pitches, so no one should expect him to come out of the bullpen in Game 5. His seven innings here was the eighth time this postseason that a starter went at least seven innings. Last year, there were only four such starts in the whole playoffs.

Yankees give Guardians a taste of their own medicine

In Game 3, the Guardians’ strategy for getting the ball into play and making things happen worked out exceptionally well for them. Their first run in Game 4 was comparable to the previous one.

This time, the Yankees got the cue in the top of the sixth inning. Aaron Judge reached on a ground-ball infield single, and Anthony Rizzo followed with a soft double down the left-field line. Then, with a sacrifice fly, Giancarlo Stanton drove home Judge.

Holmes close the door

With all the late-inning rallies the Guardians have had this season and the Yankees’ bullpen troubles late in the year, a two-run lead going into the eighth inning was not very safe. A lot was said about the fact that Clay Holmes didn’t pitch in Game 3. But in Game 4, he got the eighth inning. He walked Steven Kwan with one out, bringing the tying run to the plate. However, Holmes struck out Amed Rosario and then Ramrez to end the threat.

The Yankees chose Wandy Peralta to pitch in the ninth. He had already pitched in every game of this series, so Game 4 was his third day in a row on the mound. He ended the game by hitting two weak ground balls and striking out.

The action now moves to Yankee Stadium in New York and the winner will move to the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

Who do you think will win on Monday and why?

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