Jameson Taillon to start Yankees vs. Guardians ALDS Game 5

Jameson Taillon

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With both the Yankees and the Guardians are tied at 2-2, Game 5 at Yankees Stadium on Monday will decide the team to contest the Astros in the American League Championship Series. Jameson Taillon is set to start the all-important game for the Yankees.

Taillon will pitch Game 5 for the Yankees after Gerrit Cole brought them back to the ALDS with a solid seven-inning performance in a 4-2 victory over the Guardians at Progressive Field on Sunday night.

Taillon is expected to be the first in a parade of weapons the Yankees might utilize to attempt to punch their way into the ALCS. The Yankees used him as a reliever in the first two games of the ALDS before holding him back in Games 3 and 4 so he could pitch in Game 5 on Monday.

Taillon said Sunday:

“I feel like we have prepared for this moment. Playing the AL East, facing the lineups we have faced, seems like playing in a Yankees uniform in Yankees Stadium every game is a big game. We’re ready for it. It is a big opportunity. Props to Gerrit for just pushing the ball forward, getting us back home. We go back with a rested bullpen and I’m ready to go for Game 5.”

The only time Taillon pitched in the ALDS was in Game 3 on Friday, which he did out of the bullpen. In the 10th inning, when the game was tied 2-2, he came in and gave up two bloop hits, which, along with a throwing error by Josh Donaldson, led to the winning run for the Guardians. Then, Taillon gave up a double that drove in a run and ended his turn without getting an out.

Taillon threw 18 pitches when he came in as a relief pitcher on Friday. He said that he still felt “ready for whatever they need.”

The bullpen also has Domingo German, who hasn’t pitched in the series yet, and Nestor Cortes, who has had two days off. German will give them length, and Cortes will have had two days off.

Taillon’s last start was on October 4 against the Rangers, when he gave up four runs over six innings. He played against the Guardians once this season, on April 22. In five innings, he gave up one run on seven hits and no walks.

As for important games, Taillon pitched well against the Blue Jays, allowing only two runs over 7 ¹/₃ innings in his penultimate regular-season start, which helped win the AL East. Last season, he started Game 162 against the Rays with an injured ankle and pitched 3 ¹/₃ scoreless innings.

“There is definitely going to be some added adrenaline and stuff when you step foot in Yankees Stadium,” Taillon said, “I will keep my day as normal as possible. Knowing that the fans are going to bring it over the top, I think it is important for us to just prepare. … I’m a guy who if I get too far outside of myself and my game plan, that’s not going to work for me. I need to just keep it simple, keep it mellow, execute pitches and do my job.”

Is it the right choice to have Taillon as the starter in Game 5?

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