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Gamethread: ALDS Game 5, Yankees vs. Rays

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Just one series gets pushed to the max, and thankfully it’s been the most entertaining one of all

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
A Yankee slides in to score against Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino (10) as New York second baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) signals to slide during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After the madness of four games per day all week, only one LDS series has extended into Friday, and a deciding fifth game, at that.

The Yankees “visit” the Rays in a winner-take-ALDS final matchup, with the advantage now apparently swung to New York. Gerrit Cole starts Game 5 on three days’ rest. He beat the Rays a year ago in a Game 5 ALDS decider (when Cole was with the Astros) with a killer do-or-die effort. In his previous two deciding playoff games, for the Pirates, Cole was merely OK:

Baseball-Reference

Cole starting puts catcher Gary Sanchez on the bench, in favor of Kyle Higashioka.

Going for Tampa (on short rest) is Tyler Glasnow, who will not be counted on for more than a couple of innings as a de facto opener tonight. Game 1 starter Blake Snell will also be available, and could take the bulk of (three or four?) innings.

No matter what, we’ll be playoffs-free for the weekend, in an act of sheer cowardice by MLB. Monday will begin the Rays/Yankees vs. Astros ALCS, and Tuesday kicks off the Dodgers vs. Atlanta NLCS.

Here’s the schedule (best-of-seven, italics below are games “if necessary”)

Sunday, October 11
ALCS Game 1, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS

Monday, October 12
ALCS, Game 2, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS Game 1, Atlanta vs. Dodgers, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Tuesday, October 13
ALCS Game 3, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS Game 2, Atlanta vs. Dodgers, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Wednesday, October 14
ALCS Game 4, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS Game 3, Dodgers vs. Atlanta, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Thursday, October 15
ALCS Game 5, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS, Game 4, Dodgers vs. Atlanta, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Friday, October 16
ALCS Game 6, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS, Game 5, Dodgers vs. Atlanta, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Saturday, October 17
ALCS Game 7, Astros vs. Rays-Yankees winner, San Diego, TBS
NLCS Game 6, Atlanta vs. Dodgers, Arlington, FOX or FS1

Sunday, October 18
NLCS Game 7, Atlanta vs. Dodgers, Arlington, FOX or FS1