Last Updated on October 8, 2023 at 9:02 am by Michael Bennington
The Yankees defeated the Guardians 5-1 on Tuesday to wrest the ALDS series 3-2. However, fans will remember the series for the tough contest that pushed the Yankees to the brink of elimination at one point of time. While many big guns of New York failed to fire in the playoffs, others emerged from the shadow to rescue the team and steer their first championship since 2009.
PinstripesNation, which dedicatedly covers only and only Yankees and provides fans with the most authentic and first-hand news about their favorite team, runs a poll to select the best ALDS MVP for the Yankees.
Fans and followers can cast their votes here and select the player who they want to see as the ALDS MVP for the Yankees.
PinstripesNation has zeroed in on four players based on their performance in the American League Division Series. They are:
Gerrit Cole: Ace pitcher ready for every challenge
His second consecutive excellent performance in this ALDS rescued the Yankees’ season and forced a pivotal Game 5, which New York won to head to the ALCS. Just four days after helping New York win Game 1, Gerrit Cole threw 110 pitches in do-or-die Game 4.
With a nine-year, $324 million contract that began in 2020, Gerrit Cole carries lots of expectations from the Yankees fans. So far, he has excelled in the position of the ace starter for New York in the ALDS. His immaculate 13.1 innings in his two starts have immensely helped relieve the burden on the doubtful New York bullpen. Cole earned victories in Game 1 and Game 4 of the ALDS with statistics of 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K in the last.
Nasty Nestor: The legend is unraveling
He is the Phoenix, who rose from ashes again and again until a legend was born. The year 2022 is that of Nestor Cortes. In the ALDS playoffs, he held his own in Game 2 before the bullpen blew thongs out. In Game 5, he gave the Yankees all they could have hoped for in his maiden playoff outing with 5.0 IP, 6 H, and 2 ER.
His accomplishments are fast making Nestor Cortes a cult figure for the Yankees fans. Cortes remains wonderful and affordable and showed big-league caliber on a MiLB contract. He started his first playoff game on Friday, limiting Cleveland to two runs over five innings in a game New York ultimately dropped.
The Yankees felt confident in giving Cortes the ball on three days’ rest and he replaced Jameson Taillon to start Game 5. On Tuesday, Nestor Cortes pitched five innings as the Yankees defeated Cleveland 5-1 to go to the ALCS. It’s an amazing tale for a pitcher who the team shunned twice but fell back at the most intriguing moment in their playoff history.
Harrison Bader: The playoff specialist
Harrison Bader, who was at the receiving end of fans’ anger at one time, took over the ALDS limelight from heavyweight Aaron Judge. The center fielder has been crucial for the Yankees to win the playoff series. In three games, he has hit three home runs to become the only center fielders in Yankees history to hit three home runs in a single postseason.
Each of his three homers came at a time when New York was facing a deluge. In Game 4, his decisive home run rescued the Yankees and kept their ALCS hopes alive. In the top of the second inning against Cleveland Guardians pitcher Cal Quantrill, Bader blasted a two-run home run to give his team a 3-0 lead. The Yankees won 4-2 to even the series at 2-2.
It’s remarkable that Bader has been their primary source of power in a playoff lineup despite having Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo.
Wandy Peralta: The extra-inning answer
He emerges on the scene at a time when the Yankees’ bullpen was looking uncertain going into the ALDS. Wandy Peralta has stemmed the doubt as his team heads for the ALCS after five games and five outings.
He is the only Yankees pitcher to play in all five games of an ALDS. He saved Game 4. The veteran left-hander pitched another spotless ninth inning on Tuesday night to cap off the Yankees’ strong attempt to cover the final four innings of the decisive game, where they defeated the Guardians 5-1.
Peralta completed the series with six innings of work, allowing just two runs on four hits and seven strikeouts despite pitching on three consecutive days for Games 2-4.
Who do you think should be PinstripesNation Yankees ALDS MVP? Fans and followers can cast their votes here.