The Yankees have already seen an incredible postseason journey thus far, and now it all comes down to a decisive do-or-die Game 5 in Cleveland.
In a rematch from the often discussed and debated Game 2, the Yankees will send their big dog, their former Ace and still their most proven and decorated big game pitcher, Carsten Charles Sabathia, Jr. to take on the overwhelming favorite to win the 2017 American League Cy Young, Corey Kluber.
Sabathia pitched very well in Game 2 only surrendering 1 earned run prior to be taken out at just 77 pitches, while the Indians’ Kluber, was roughed up early and often giving up home runs to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks en route to a 6 earned run performance.
The Yankees have seen heroics at the plate from Sanchez, Hicks and most probably notably Greg Bird, coming off of a 7 run output from Game 4, manager Joe Girardi has decided to roll with a very similar lineup with only a slight change at DH.
A widely discussed topic throughout this series has been the overwhelming struggle and lack of production from the DH spot, leading Yankee fans clamoring for a change and even possibly a Matt Holliday start even though the veteran is yet to see the batters box this postseason.
Rather than the switch-hitting Chase Headley who got the nod in Game 4, Girardi has decided to give Jacoby Ellsbury the start in Game 5, most likely due to his numbers off Kluber (5-19 with 2 doubles).
In the most competitive and enthralling series of the 2017 postseason to date, the pivotal Game 5 of the American League Divisional Series appears to come down to the pitching matchup’s between the starters and the bullpens.
Can Corey Kluber have 2 bad outings in a row?
Will Sabathia be able to stymy the potent Indians lineup again, and if so, will he still have a short leash?
Whichever team is able to grab an early lead, will their respective bullpen be able to slam the door?
There are so many unknown variables that will undoubtedly come into play tonight at Progressive Field, but two that are certain: the Indians with their American League best record have all of the pressure on them and the Baby Bombers are bringing all the momentum.
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