LEADING OFF: Yanks’ Cole, Rays’ Glasnow tabbed for Game 5

Sports

New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning in Game one of a baseball American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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WINNER-TAKE-ALL

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and towering Tampa Bay righty Tyler Glasnow will both pitch on short rest in the deciding Game 5 of their AL Division Series. Cole earned the victory in Game 1 despite allowing two home runs, and he’ll appear on three days’ rest after throwing 97 pitches.

The 6-foot-8 Glasnow will be pitching on two days’ rest after striking out 10 in Game 2. He’s expected to be used as an opener, possibly ahead of 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell.

“I haven’t really talked about innings or anything like that,” Glasnow said after New York won 5-1 Thursday to force Game 5. “I just know I’m starting tomorrow, but I feel good about it. I’m excited. … As far as health goes, I feel good. I’m ready to go. I was in the ’pen today. I was ready to come out today.”

The Yankees are trying to reach the ALCS for the third time in four seasons following eliminations by the Astros at that stage in 2017 and last season. The Rays are trying to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 2008, when they made it to their only World Series.

BANG UP JOB

Three years after a sign-stealing scheme propelled the Astros to their first World Series title, Houston is banging away once again — this time, presumably, without any trash cans involved. The Astros advanced to their fourth straight AL Championship Series by finishing off Oakland on Thursday, and now they’re waiting to see if they’ll play the Rays or Yankees.

After slumping through the regular season, Houston’s hitters came alive in the division series. The team batted .322 against the A’s, with Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker each batting over .400, and George Springer at .389.

“We didn’t show this too much during the season, but this lineup can do this every night,” Tucker said.

ALL SET

The Braves and Dodgers each punched their NL Championship Series tickets Thursday, and now they’ll have until Monday’s opener to prepare for their showdown in Arlington, Texas.

Bolstered by young starters Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, the Braves have thrown four shutouts in five postseason games, a feat only achieved previously by the 1905 New York Giants behind Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity.

After two rounds the Braves have already pitched the most postseason shutouts in franchise history, besting the 1996 and 1991 teams that threw three each as both lost in the World Series. They are one shutout shy of tying the MLB record for most in a postseason set by the 2016 Indians over 15 games.

Los Angeles polished off a sweep over the rival Padres on Thursday. They’re expected to line up Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in Games 1 and 2.

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