Guardians vs Yankees score: Cleveland wins Game 2 while Jameson Taillon gives up two extras

NEW YORK — The ALDS is now a best-of-three. On Friday afternoon, Oscar Gonzalez and a dominant bullpen performance gave the Cleveland Guardians a 4-2, 10-inning box score win over the New York Yankees in Game 2. The series heads to Cleveland on Saturday nights, where there is one game each.

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

Here are four takeaways from Game 2:

Stanton drove home after he should have left

Shane Bieber got a poison 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 despite being under the zone and slightly off the plate. Here is the pitch:

The home plate umpire called this 3-1 pitch against Giancarlo Stanton a strike.

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Guardians catcher Austin Hedges is an elite pitch framer and either he stole a strike or Rehak blew the call outright. Anyway, the call gave Bieber some breathing space and another chance to put Stanton away and end the first inning. He didn’t. The next pitch was a fastball, but not high enough, and Stanton parked it on the right short porch for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead.

If the 3-1 pitch is called the 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, giving 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 homers in 20 career postseason games. Only Carlos Beltran (11) had more home runs in 20 postseason games of his career. Stanton entered 2022 as a career .288/.372/.712 postseason hitter. The 2017 NL MVP was a one-man wrecking crew in October.

Cortes saved his own bacon

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

If Cortes doesn’t stop that, it’s in midfield for a two-run go-ahead single. At the very least, a knockdown would have kept the ball infield and prevented the second run from scoring. Finishing the inning on first base was almost a bonus.

Overall, the Guardians put up two runs on the board in five innings against Cortes, despite having several chances to really damage the scoreboard. They stranded a runner in four of five innings against the left All-Star and had multiple runners at base in three of five innings. Cortes bent but ultimately did not break.

Judges in the ALDS

In two games, 62-homer Aaron Judge is 0-for-8 with a walk and seven strikeouts in the ALDS, including 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in Game 2. The Guardians did a great job in becoming the AL MVP pick keep two games in check. Also, Judge batted on base in the series with zero runners. You didn’t give him a chance to do any harm.

It should be noted that in his last 13 regular season games, Judge went 8 to 37 (.216) with 15 strikeouts and hobbled a little 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 postseason games. The Guardians appear to have his number in October.

Cleveland was rewarded for the contact

No team in baseball put the ball in play more often this season than the Guardians, and in the tenth inning that touchability was rewarded with two bloop hits to win the game. First, José Ramírez dunked what should have been a single to flat left, but because he was rushing in the game for second place, Josh Donaldson rushed the throw and he sailed well past second base, leaving Ramírez in third with no outs place. A little ball-in-play luck and a little hustle set Cleveland up.

The next batter, Oscar Gonzalez, fell behind on the count from 0-2, fouled a few pitches to bring it back to 1-2, and then dropped a go-ahead single to the right. The ball was perfectly placed between first baseman Aaron Rizzo and right fielder Aaron Judge.

Based on exit velocity and launch angle, Statcast gave Ramírez’s ball a 9 percent chance of going into a hit and Gonzalez’s a 37 percent chance. Well placed is better than well hit. On the other hand, Josh Naylor smoked a ball over Harrison Bader’s head at an exit speed of 108.5 mph a shot later, giving the Guardians an important insurance run. Well hit also works.

Cleveland was rewarded for contact in the tenth inning while the Yankees struggled to establish a period of contact. Three Guardians reliefs faced 18 batters combined and only allowed six balls in play (eight strikeouts, four walks, three ground-outs, a fly-out, a force-out and a single).

Next

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 play every day until it’s decided. 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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