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The New York Yankees clinched a spot in the AL Championship Series with their 5-1 Game 5 ALDS win over the Cleveland Guardians after a heroic outing on three days’ rest from starting pitcher Nestor Cortes and early home runs from superstar sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.
Here are the top social media reactions to the Yankees’ victory in a winner-take-all Game 5.
Stanton got things started with a three-run home run in the first inning after Guardians starter Aaron Civale put two of the first three batters he faced on base. Many on Twitter criticized Guardians manager Terry Francona’s decision to start Civale, a back-end member of Cleveland’s rotation, instead of ace Shane Bieber on three days’ rest.
All Rise for some insurance
Judge tacked on another run in the second inning with a solo homer. It was his second home run of the postseason after an American League record 62 in the regular season. But his line drive into the right field short porch helped set another milestone for the MVP candidate as well.
Short-rest Nestor is still nasty
Unlike his counterpart Francona, Yankees manager Aaron Boone did opt to go with one of his top pitchers on short rest, handing the ball to breakout star Cortes. “Nasty Nestor” delivered with five innings of one-run ball, and Twitter was quick to shower him with praise.
Jonathan Loáisiga does his job
Avoiding the challenge?
One major turning point in the game came in the third inning when Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo made a diving tag at first base to seemingly beat Andrés Giménez to the bag. Giménez looked to be safe on the replay, but Francona — who was criticized for being too aggressive with his challenges in Game 4 — opted not to challenge the out call on the field.
Sometimes, the “baby” rocks you
After Cleveland’s Josh Naylor went viral for “rocking the baby” while trotting around the bases after a Game 4 home run, Yankees fans mercilessly booed and mocked him every time he came to the plate. Naylor went 0-for-4 in Game 5, and Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres had the last laugh when he mimicked Naylor’s celebration while glaring into the Guardians’ dugout after catching the final out.
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