Pa Disha Tosar
Posted by FOX Sports MLB

NEW YORK – After Yankees having barely played baseball for the past week, they were suddenly looking at four games in four days.

Following the conclusion of Game 2 of the American League Division Series, which was rescheduled for 1:07 PM ET on Friday at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers and Cleveland Guardians are preparing for an atypical playoff schedule.

Major League Baseball has scheduled a day off between Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS, but there will be no days off between Games 3, 4 and 5. Because rain on Thursday moved Game 2 to Friday, the Yankees and Giants will play Friday through Monday if necessary . Game 2 will be played at Yankee Stadium, followed by Games 3 and 4 at Progressive Field. Game 5 of the ALDS will take place on Monday in the Bronx, with the series coming to a close in a best-of-five structure.

The Yankees’ schedule has been strange since the season ended Oct. 5 at Texas. The Bombers have played just one game over the last eight days, in part because of MLB’s new playoff format, which extended the Wild Card streak from one game to a three-game series last weekend. In Game 1 of the ALDS on Tuesday, the Yankees didn’t seem bothered by their five-day layoff from baseball. They jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Cleveland, with key home runs Garrison Bader and Anthony Rizzo.

“We worked hard to stay smart in that inning,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said during an appearance Thursday on The Michael Kay Show. “Hopefully it will serve us well this month.”

The Yankees were certainly well rested. As for the Guardians, they enter Friday having played three games in eight days since their regular season ended. Both offenses can look forward to four games in four days, as baseball relies on regularity and repetition.

If there’s one area of ​​concern, it’s the starting pitching staff for the Guardians and Yankees, which Cleveland lacks compared to New York.

ALDS Game 1 recap

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry react to the New York Yankees’ win in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians.

The guards will have their ace, right-handed Shane Bieber, on the mound for Friday’s Game 2. So no big deal. Right-handed Tristan McKenzie to appear in Saturday’s Game 3 is another solid starting option. And Cleveland has yet to announce the starters for Games 4 and 5. It’s possible that’s right Cal Quantrill, the Guardians’ Game 1 starter, will start on Sunday. But he was singled for four runs (three earned) in Tuesday’s loss to the Yankees, so Cleveland may want to turn to a righty Aaron Siwale in a potential Game 4. If the series comes down to a winner-takes-all Game 5, the Sentinels may have no choice but to file Zak Plesakwhich fans were asking to be traded less than a month ago.

The Yankees will have a lefty Nestor Cortes on the mound Friday. Right-handed Luis Severino will roll Saturday in Game 3 and then the ace Gerrit Cole on Sunday if necessary. The problem with Cole pitching on Sunday is that he won’t be able to pitch until next Friday, when the Yankees advance to the ALCS and assuming Cole is on regular rest. Cortez said he would be willing to take short rest in the event of Monday’s Game 5 at Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees will likely select the right-hander Jameson Taillon in that case.

Of course, with the Yankees leading the ALDS by one game, they can make it easy by sweeping the series. That scenario would give them three days off before the ALCS, which begins Wednesday against either of them Houston Astros or Seattle Mariners.

Still, the Yankees have no reason to feel extra anxious as their schedule changes to four games in four days. As mentioned, the offense will likely benefit from daily battles, and the Yankees’ rotation of Cortez, Severino, Cole and Taillon is set up well against Cleveland. It’s the Guardians who will face potential problems with their weaker rotation if the ALDS goes to Game 5.

Disha Tosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @Disha Tosar.

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