Guardians vs. Yankees Score: Cleveland takes Game 2 as Jameson gives up two on Taylon extras.

New York — The ALDS is now a best-of-three. Oscar Gonzalez and a dominant bullpen performance led the Cleveland Guardians to a 10-inning 4-2 victory Friday afternoon (Box score) in Game 2 against the New York Yankees. The series heads to Cleveland on Saturday night, with each tied at one game apiece.

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

Here are four takeaways from Game 2:

Stanton homered after he should have walked

Shane Bieber got a gift call from home plate umpire Jeremy Rehock in the first inning (or so he thought). His 3-1 cutter to Giancarlo Stanton was called a strike that was just below the plate, though it was below the zone. Here is the location of the pitch:

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 either steals a strike or blows the call straight to Rehock. Either way, the call gave Bieber a reprieve and another chance to get Stanton out and end the first inning. He didn’t do that. The next pitch went up fast, but not long enough, and Stanton lined it into the short right-field corridor for a two-run homer and a 2-0 lead.

If a 3-1 pitch is called a ball and Stanton walks, perhaps the next batter (Josh Donaldson) will strike out to strand both runners to end the inning. Or maybe he hit a three-run homer. Who knows? The strike call extended the at-bat and gave Stanton another chance to do damage, and we know 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) has more homers in 20 career postseason games. Stanton entered 2022 with a career .288/.372/.712 postseason. The 2017 NL MVP was a one-man wrecking crew in October.

Cortez saved his own bacon

By the seat of his pants, no less. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Miles Straw sliced ​​a rebound up the middle that Cortez reached and grabbed. He came down and landed behind him, but still managed to throw to first base to get the out. Straw is one of the fastest players in baseball. Cortes had no time.

If Cortez doesn’t stop it, it’s a two-run-goal single to center. At the very least, dropping it would have kept the ball in the infield and prevented a second run. An inning-ending first base finish is almost a bonus.

Overall, the Guardians scored two runs in five innings against Cortez, though there were too many opportunities to really put a dent in the scoreboard. They had a runner on base in four of five innings and multiple runners on base in three of five innings against the All-Star lefty. Cortez bent but ultimately did not break.

Judge struggles in the ALDS

Through two games, 62-homer man 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 well to keep the AL MVP favorite in check. Two games. Also, Judge has batted in this series. They didn’t give him a chance to do any damage.

Notably, Judge went 8 for 37 (.216) with 15 strikeouts over his final 13 regular season games. He went 1 for 20 with 16 — 16! — Strikeouts vs. Cleveland in 2017 ALDS. Between that streak and this one, he hit .242/.354/.550 with 10 HR in 29 postseason games. The Guardians seem to have his number in October.

The Cleveland connection was rewarded

No team in baseball has put the ball in play more than the Guardians this season, and in the tenth inning, that contact ability was rewarded with two bloop hits to win the game. In the first, Jose Ramirez ripped what should have been a single into shallow left, but as he rushed to second on the play, Josh Donaldson rushed the throw and it sailed wide of second base, allowing Ramirez to advance to third with no outs. A little ball-in-play luck and a little hustle set Cleveland up.

The next batter, Oscar Gonzalez, trailing 0-2, turned two pitches to make it 1-2 and then lined a go-ahead single to right. The ball was placed perfectly between first baseman Aaron Rizzo and right fielder Aaron Judge.

Based on exit velocity and launch angle, Statcast gave Ramirez a 9 percent chance on the ball, and Gonzalez a 37 percent chance. Well laid is better than well struck. Again, Josh Naylor smoked a ball with an exit speed of 108.5mph after a thump over Harrison Bader’s head to give the Guardians a crucial insurance run. Good job too.

Cleveland was rewarded for making contact in the tenth inning, while the Yankees struggled to generate contact time. The three Guardians relievers combined to face 18 batters, allowing just six balls in play (eight strikeouts, four walks, three ground outs, one fly out, one force out and one single).

next

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

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