Yankees set up ALCS date with Astros with decisive Game 5 win
The Yankees did what they needed to do to beat the Guardians, clinching the series with a 5-1 win in Game 5 on Tuesday in The Bronx.
Now comes the hard part: getting by the Astros in the ALCS.
With chants of “We want Houston” coming from the stands in the top of the ninth, the challenge begins Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park with Game 1, since the Yankees lost the off day due to Tuesday’s rainout.
They didn’t wait to get ahead of Cleveland when the series resumed Tuesday afternoon, sparked by Giancarlo Stanton’s three-run homer in the bottom of the first, Nestor Cortes’ five excellent innings on three days’ rest, and four scoreless frames from the bullpen, as the Yankees advanced to the ALCS for the first time since 2019.
Houston, arguably the Yankees’ main nemesis since 2017, awaits.
It’s a series all season in the making, something Aaron Boone addressed when the Astros got the better of the Yankees in Houston in July.
“Ultimately, we may have to slay the dragon, right?” Boone said on July 21. “If it comes to it in October, the proof will be in the pudding. Do we get it done? The narrative’s not gonna change til you beat them in the playoffs, if that day comes… It’s not gonna matter til October. If we happen to come back here in October, we’re gonna show up. We’re gonna expect to win.”
Now they get their chance.