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ALCS Game 5 open thread

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This could be it for the 2019 Yankees. It’s up to Justin Verlander and the rest of the Astros to make it so.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees
This guy is pretty good.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Coming back to New York after splitting a pair of games against the Astros in Houston, the Yankees were probably feeling pretty good about their chances. Two games later, they find themselves instead on the brink of elimination, having to go up against Justin Verlander in Game 5 of the ALCS. It’s not ideal, except for everyone who wants the Yankees to lose.

It’s not over yet for New York. They just have to win three games in a row. It can be done, even against a great team like the Astros, who will be sending great pitchers to the mound to try to close out the series. If they get by Verlander, Gerrit Cole still looms one more time. So it’s tough.

One thing that will be different about the Yankees tonight compared to the last three games is that Giancarlo Stanton is back in the lineup as the designated hitter. He was out due to quad soreness and there was a lot of chatter about whether he should be replaced on the roster. Instead, the only person who was replaced was CC Sabathia, who dislocated his shoulder while pitching out of the bullpen last night. That’s a painful way to cap off a career.

The Orioles have nothing whatsoever to do with this game, but there was a little bit of a Friday news dump from the team, as they announced that outfielder DJ Stewart underwent a procedure on a microfracture in his ankle on Thursday. Stewart will be resuming baseball activities towards the end of spring training, so that’s one guy you can effectively scratch out of the Opening Day roster plans already.

First pitch for Astros-Yankees is scheduled for 7:08. The game will again air on Fox Sports 1.

Astros lineup

  1. George Springer - RF
  2. Jose Altuve - 2B
  3. Michael Brantley - LF
  4. Alex Bregman - 3B
  5. Yuli Gurriel - 1B
  6. Carlos Correa - SS
  7. Yordan Alvarez - DH
  8. Robinson Chirinos - C
  9. Jake Marisnick - CF

Verlander last pitched in Game 2 of this series, giving up just two runs in 6.2 innings.

Yankees lineup

  1. DJ LeMahieu - 1B
  2. Aaron Judge - RF
  3. Gleyber Torres - 2B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton - DH
  5. Aaron Hicks - CF
  6. Gary Sanchez - C
  7. Didi Gregorius - SS
  8. Gio Urshela - 3B
  9. Brett Gardner - LF

The Yankees starter is James Paxton, who also pitched in Game 2 of this series. Paxton only made it 2.1 innings in that outing, though.

If the Yankees win tonight, there will not be an off day before Game 6 because of the Wednesday rainout. If the Astros win tonight, there will not be another game until the World Series begins on Tuesday night.