Yankees vs. Guardians Score: New York takes ALDS Game 1 behind Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rizzo

New York — Yankee Stadium has been packed since Tuesday night. It was the first postseason game in the Bronx since Game 5 of the 2019 ALCS. It was Gerrit Cole’s first home postseason start as a Yankee. Two players hit their first career postseason home runs. The New York Yankees won the first game of their ALDS matchup with the Cleveland Guardians (NYY 4, CLE 1)

Cole overcame early trouble to give the Yankees 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball while striking out eight against a team with the lowest regular-season strikeout rate in baseball. Anthony Rizzo put the game away with a two-run home run to the second deck in right field in the sixth inning. New York is now two wins away from advancing to the ALCS.

Here are the highlights from Game 1 between the Yankees and the Guardians.

Cole directs the initial danger

The Guardians certainly made the goal work in the early innings. They got a man to second base in the first and second innings, but Cole escaped with strikeouts, then some nifty defense to help him out, loading up on a one-out jam in the third. Most notably, Josh Donaldson scooped a pitch to his left and threw home to lead off the force.

Following the walk-off at home, Cole settled and retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced, and Cleveland did not have another runner advance to second base while he was on the mound. His only blemish was a Steven Kwan solo homer — Kwan’s first career postseason homer and seventh of 2022 — and in three starts this season, Cole has held the Guardians to three runs in 19 innings.

It should be noted that even though he needed 39 pitches to get through the first innings, Kohli was able to take the ball in the seventh innings. With the Yankees without several key relievers due to injury (Zach Britton, Scott Efras, Chad Green, Michael King, etc.), they will need to pull things together in the innings this postseason. The more they get from beginners the better.

An eventful fifth innings

There was some right field funny business in the bottom of the fifth inning. First, Donaldson raised what he and the 47,807 in the Bronx thought was a private house in the right field seats.. The ball hit the top of the wall and came back into play, however, and Donaldson was tagged out after rounding first base on his home run trot. Replays confirmed that the ball had indeed hit the top of the wall. It’s not a home run.

Next up, Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a single into right field, and Wild Card Series hero Oscar Gonzalez fouled Happ, allowing the ball to slip through his legs. Kiner-Falefa moved to third base on the error, and Jose Trevino drove him in with a sacrifice fly. A homer from Donaldson to right field gave Kiner-Falefa three bases.

Trevino, who made his first All-Star Game this summer, was incredibly clutch during the regular season. He had two walk-off hits and hit .355 with runners in scoring position. The sac fly was unsuccessful, but it did come with two strikeouts that gave the Yankees the lead in the postseason. Trevino has really been a godsend for New York this year.

Rizzo provides Yankees insurance

The Yankees scored their first run on Harrison Bader’s first career postseason home run and his first as a Yankee. He arrived from the Cardinals at the trade deadline and was on the injured list with a leg injury. He wasn’t active until mid-September, and he went 10 for 46 (.217) in a 14-game tune-up. Bader picked a good time for his first Yankees homer.

Bader tied the game 1-1 and Trevino gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. In the sixth, Rizzo delivered two insurance runs with a homer into the second deck in right field. With Andrew Benintendi injured and Matt Carpenter currently relegated to pinch-hitting duty, Rizzo is the only reliable source of left-handed power in New York’s lineup. The Yankees want him to pepper the short corridor.

Before Rizzo’s blast, 62-homer man Aaron Judge reminded everyone that he’s much more than a home run hitter. He drew a leadoff walk against Cal Quantrill, stole second, then took third when the throw went to center field. Judge went to 16 of the 19 burglary sites this year in addition to those 62 homes. He is a skilled, talented player.

With Rizzo giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead, manager Aaron Boone was able to go with righty Jonathan Losica, lefty Vandy Peralta and righty Clay Holmes for the final three innings. Sep. Game 1 was Peralta’s first game since 18. He missed the last few weeks of the regular season with a back injury. It was Holmes’ first appearance since September 26. He missed the end of the regular season with a shoulder issue. Clearly, the Yankees were comfortable throwing him (and Peralta) into the fire.

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Game 2, of course. Historically, teams that win the first game of a best-of-five series have won the series 71 percent of the time. The ALDS schedule is a bit unusual this year, with an off day between Games 1 and 2 And Game 2 and 3. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night, although the forecast suggests weather could be an issue. Whenever Game 2 is played, it will be Nestor Cortez (12-4, 2.44 ERA) against Shane Bieber (13-8, 2.88 ERA).

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