New York Yankees

New York Yankees

New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Anthony Rizzo #48 of the New York Yankees reacts after defeating the Cleveland Guardians in game five of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2022 in New York, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

YANKEES 5 – GUARDIANS 1 — NYY win series 3-2

After much consternation and hand-wringing. After it looked like Aaron Boone had tossed the series away in Game 3 of this American League Division Series when he didn’t pitch Clay Holmes with the Yankees up 5-3.

After fans had to wait nearly three whole hours on Monday night before word came down that Game 5 would be postponed, the Yankees are moving on.

And for Yankees fans it feels oh so good.

Judge celebrates

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 18: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates on the field after defeating the Cleveland Guardians in game five of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2022 in New York, New York. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Yankees took care of business without much drama, winning Game 5 by the score of 5-1 over the Cleveland Guardians. Now the Houston Astros await on Wednesday night down in Texas for the start of the American League Championship Series.

There was little doubt in this one. Right from the onset the Yankees put this one out of reach when Giancarlo Stanton cracked a three-run homer to put the Yankees up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Cleveland’s decision to start Aaron Civale after 13 days without pitching in a game totally backfired. He was out after just a third of an inning.

Come the bottom of the second, Aaron Judge added to the proceedings with a solo shot to right center, sending Yankee Stadium into a tizzy.

On the hill Nestor Cortes was his dominant self, pitching five solid innings, giving up only a run on three hits. He tossed only 61 pitches, meaning the Yankees could be considering bringing back back quickly for at least Game 3 of ALCS.

The Yankees pen, which was much maligned over the weekend, was solid Tuesday night as the combination of Jonathan Loaisiga, Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta shut the door on the Guardians for good.

Now the attention turns to Houston. Since 2015, the Astros have had their way with the Yankees. Three times these two rivals have met in the postseason, and all three times the Astros came up victories.

There was Dallas Keuchel’s dominance in the Wild Card Game back in 2015. Then we saw the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa become house hold names for their efforts to knock the Yankees out in dramatic fashion in the ALCS back in 2017 and 2019.

For Yankees fans, however, they will never forget the day in 2019 when Altuve hit a game-winning home run against them in the postseason and signaled that he might have had something (a buzzer perhaps) under his jersey.

That only added to the stigma that the Houston Astros in 2017 cheated their way to a World Championship with a cleverly orchestrated sign stealing scheme. The same sign stealing scheme they were never really punished for other than some fines and the firing of then Astros manager A.J. Hinch.

Now these two arch rivals meet again. It will be their fourth postseason meeting in eight years, and third ALCS meeting in six years. The Astros have been the dominant team in the American League all that time. The question is are the Yankees finally ready to climb the mountain to get back to the top of the baseball world?

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