Guardians vs Yankees Score: Cleveland Wins Game 2 While Jameson Taillon Gives Up Two in Extras

NEW YORK — The ALDS is now a best-of-three. On Friday afternoon, Oscar Gonzalez and a dominating bullpen performance gave the Cleveland Guardians a 10-inning 4-2 win (box score) in Game 2 against the New York Yankees. The series heads to Cleveland on Saturday night, tied in one game apiece.

New York took an early 2-0 lead thanks to Giancarlo Stanton’s home run in the first inning, but the Guardians rallied to even the game in the middle innings, then found grass with some weak pop-ups in the tenth inning to take the lead. Cleveland’s bullpen held the Yankees to one basehit in 4 1/3 innings.

Here are four takeaways from Game 2:

Stanton homered after being forced to walk

Shane Bieber got a cool call from home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak in the first inning (or so he thought). His 3-1 cutter against Giancarlo Stanton was called a strike, even though it was under the zone and a little off the plate. This is the pitch location:

The home plate umpire called this 3-1 pitch to Giancarlo Stanton a strike. Baseball Savant

Guardians catcher Austin Hedges is an elite pitch framer and he stole a strike or Rehak ruined the call. Anyway, the call gave Bieber a reprieve and another chance to put Stanton away and end the first inning. He didn’t. The next pitch was a fastball, but not enough, and Stanton parked it in the short porch of right field for a two-run home run and a 2-0 lead.

If the 3-1 pitch is called a ball and Stanton walks, the next batter (Josh Donaldson) might make an out to end the inning and strand the two runners. Or maybe he hits a three-run homer. Who knows? What we do know is that the strike call extended the at bat and gave Stanton another chance to do damage, and he capitalized.

With that homer, Stanton has gone deep nine times in his last 12 postseason games, and he has 10 home runs through 20 postseason games in his career. Only Carlos Beltrán (11) had more homeruns in 20 postseason-games. Stanton entered 2022 as a .288/.372/.712 career batter in the postseason. The NL MVP 2017 was a one-man wrecking crew in October.

Cortes saved his own bacon

From the seat of his pants, no less. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Myles Straw chopped a comebacker through the middle that reached and grabbed Cortes. He came down and landed on his backside, but was still able to make the throw to first base to get the out. Straw is one of the fastest players in baseball. Cortes had no time left.

If Cortes doesn’t hold that back, it’ll be in midfield for a two-run go-ahead single. The knockdown would have at least kept the ball in the infield and prevented the second run from scoring. The inning-ending at first base was almost a bonus.

All in all, the Guardians put up two runs in five innings against Cortes, despite having several chances to really put a dent in the scoreboard. They stranded a runner in four of the five innings against the All-Star lefty and had multiple runners on base in three of the five innings. Cortes bowed but didn’t break in the end.

Judge struggles in the ALDS

In two games, Aaron Judge is 0 for 8 with a walk and strikeout seven in the ALDS with 62 home runs, including 0 for 5 with four strikeouts in Game 2. The Guardians have done a great job keeping the AL MVP favorite in check for two spell. Also, Judge has batted in the series with no runners on base. They didn’t give him a chance to do any kind of damage.

Judge, it should be noted, hit 8 for 37 (.216) with 15 strikeouts in his last 13 games in the regular season, and limped slightly to the finish. He also went 1 for 20 with 16-16! — strikeouts against Cleveland in the 2017 ALDS. Between that series and this one, he hit .242/.354/.550 with 10 HR in 29 games after the season. The Guardians appear to have his issue in October.

Cleveland was rewarded for contact

No baseball team brought the ball into play more often than the Guardians this season, and in the tenth inning, that touch was rewarded with two bloophits to win the game. First, José Ramírez thought what should have been a single to shallow left, but as he rushed to second base on the play, Josh Donaldson hurried the throw and it sailed next to second base, enabling Ramírez to advance to third base without out. A little luck in the game and a little hustle and bustle got Cleveland going.

The next batter, Oscar Gonzalez, trailed 0-2 in the count, made an error on a few pitches to work it back to 1-2, then plopped a leading single to the right. The ball was placed perfectly between first baseman Aaron Rizzo and rightfielder Aaron Judge.

Based on exit speed and launch angle, Statcast gave Ramírez’s ball a 9 percent chance of falling in for a hit, and Gonzalez a 37 percent chance. Well placed is better than well struck. On the other hand, a stroke later, Josh Naylor smoked a ball with an exit speed of 108.5 mph over the head of Harrison Bader, giving the Guardians a significant insurance run. Well beaten also works.

Cleveland was rewarded for contact in the tenth inning while the Yankees struggled to make contact period. Three Guardians relievers faced 18 batters together and allowed only six balls in play (eight strikeouts, four walks, three ground outs, one flyout, one force out and one basehit).

Next one

Game 3 in Cleveland on Saturday night. The postponement of Game 2 means there are no more days off in this series, so the Yankees and Guardians will play every day until it’s settled. Triston McKenzie (11-11, 2.96 ERA) and Luis Severino (7-3, 3.18 ERA) are the scheduled starters of Game 3. The first team to win advances to the ALCS.

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