The Yankees victories forced both managers to formulate a pitching plan for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Neither Astros Manager A.J. Hinch or Yankee manager Aaron Boone discussed a possible plan and left the strategies unclear following the Yankees' 4-1 win in Game 5 at Yankee Stadium to bring the series to 3-2 in favor of Houston.
It will not be Gerrit Cole who has not lost a start for the Astros since May 22. It will not be Luis Severino for the Yankees.
Instead, the fate of Game 6 is decided by the Bullpens.
Bullpen Vs. Bullpen.
"It's going to be a Bullpen game," Hinch said in his post-game press conference. "We'll talk home on the plane … I'm not going to use Cole."
Boone did not acknowledge his words either. "Sevy is ready for Game 7," he said. "We'll just find out … but it's probably going to be a little bit of everyone."
Between game 5 and 6 there was no travel day. Rain postponed the game on Wednesday, so it may take four consecutive games to play without downtime.
The Yankees Bullpen was taxed in this off-season and has shot almost as many innings as the starters (35 ⅔ vs. 37 ⅓) in eight games. No starter has completed more than seven innings in a post-season game. In the meantime, the Astros starters scored in all ten playoff games except for two at least seven innings.
So who is available for Game 6? The Yankees can contact J.A. I have to take a short break before going to the bullpen. The Astros are expected to go with rookie Jose Urquidy. The Astros have a rested bullpen. Brad Peacock was the only Reliever used in Game 5, and he only threw an inning. The Yankees did not use the relievers Adam Ottavino and Chad Green on Friday, and Zack Britton had a low number of pitches. So Saturday will be an all-hands-on-deck approach.
Basically, Game 4 would have looked like it had been played on Wednesday.
If there is a game 7, Cole will go for the Astros while Severino starts the Yankees.
What does that say about the state of the baseball game, which is a game 6 of the ALCS and both teams play with a bullpen game and not a traditional starter?
"I think it's both teams trying to get out there and make it as good as possible," Boone said. "We had a few – obviously many people have gone down this year and several people have not been available.
" We'll just try our best to put it together. "