Late and close at Yankee Stadium has a different meaning for the Cleveland Guardians.

Their AL Division Series opener on Tuesday night will be their first trip to the Bronx since an ugly April series in which rowdy fans in the stands pelted Cleveland fielders with bottles, cans and trash after New York rallied for a 5-4 victory.

Center fielder Myles Straw climbed the net fence to confront a spectator and was jeered by shouts of “Cry!” the day after calling the Yankee Universe “the worst fan on the planet.”

“I expect it to be loud. At the end of the day, it’s noise. Nothing we’re used to,” Straw said Monday. “This is playoff baseball. It’s got to be loud.”

Straw went toe-to-toe with a spectator after teammate Oscar Mercado pointed out a fan celebrating an injury to rookie left winger Steven Kwan. Straw said he had been harassed online for some time.

“They’ll send death threats and all kinds of things, but people get that in all sports,” he said. “So I just try not to look at things like that so it doesn’t bother me.”

The winner of the best-of-five series will face defending AL champion Houston or Seattle for the AL pennant.

Yankee Stadium will host its first postseason game since 2019. New York swept Cleveland in two games in 2020 before being swept by Tampa Bay in a neutral-site series in San Diego. Last year, the Yankees lost the wild card game in Boston.

In addition to the familiar short porch in right, the Yankees rely on the crazy players that have helped them to a 57-24 home record, the best in the majors.

“Man, it’s heaven,” Aaron Judge said. “I get the chills. Intros that end on that line, the crowd cheers, all clean, cool air. There is nothing like it. You can’t hear the roll call – even when I’m in right field, with the Bleach Creatures, I can hardly hear what they’re saying.’

Even Cleveland manager Terry Francona raves about the atmosphere.

“That’s part of the fun of being here,” said Francona, familiar with the Bronx’s intensity from his days with the rival Red Sox. “Maybe it’s not like the old Yankee Stadium. But in the old stadium you wore it almost like a badge of honour.’

After hitting two homers in his last 14 games, but hitting an AL-record 62 on the penultimate day of the regular season, Judge begins the postseason with his stats reset.

“I’m just relieved it’s over and we can get back to focusing on the game and winning the ball,” Judge said. “It was a little weird there for a while, every time you step on the field, people expect you to hit a home run. And every time I play, I try to do everything I can to help the team win.”

It’s like a David vs. Goliath matchup, and not just because Judge is 6-foot-7. New York is third with $254 million in payroll, while Cleveland is 27th with $60 million. The Indians had the youngest ages of both batters (25.9) and pitchers (26.3) during the regular season, according to

Gerrit Cole (13-8) starts for the AL East champion Yankees, who had a first-round bye. Cal Quantrill (15-5) takes the win for the AL Central champion Guardians, who swept the Rays in two games in the wild-card round last weekend and are 26-6 since Sept. 5.

Cole lost last year’s wild-card game at Fenway Park and is making his first postseason start for the Yankees. He led the AL with 33 home runs allowed — 55 of his 81 runs were long balls, including seven 3-run homers.

Sometimes he strangely switches to the royal “we” when discussing his outings.

“I think we’ve been shooting the ball really well lately and our process has been accurate in determining what we need to do better based on the successes and failures,” he said.

Quantrill is 11-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 17 starts since the July 5 loss at Detroit. His father, Paul, pitched for the 2004 Yankees and gave up a homer to David Ortiz in the 12th inning of Game 4 of the AL Championship Series as Boston began an unprecedented comeback from three games to no deficit.

“I have some pretty cool memories from when he played here,” said Cal, who was 9 at the time. “It was pretty much a Hall of Fame lineup that they put out every day.”

Cleveland will be without right-hander Nick Sandlin, who strained his shoulder in the 10th inning of Saturday’s 15-inning win. The Guardians also plan to add right-hander Aaron Siwala and rookie Cody Morris and waive left-hander Kirk McCarthy.

Cleveland had hoped to add 34-year-old right-hander Brian Shaw, who was designated for assignment on Oct. 1 and promptly assigned to Triple-A Columbus two days later. But 15 days must pass before he can be reinstated to the major league roster.

New York intends to have just 12 pitchers on the 26-man roster because of an unusual schedule that has off days after Games 1 and 2. Rain is forecast for Thursday.

Matt Carpenter, out since Aug. 8 with a broken left leg, has been taking batting practice and is likely to be added to New York. Boone said he is concerned about DJ LeMahieu’s ability to swing freely because of the toe injury, and it’s unclear whether the 2020 AL batting champion will be active.

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