Yankees vs. Rays ALDS Game 5 lineups: Kyle Higashioka, Gerrit Cole's personal catcher, makes another start
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will conclude their best-of-five ALDS matchup Friday night at Petco Park in San Diego. The Yankees forced the winner-take-all affair with their Game 4 win on Thursday (NY 5, TB 1). Friday's winner will face the Astros in the ALCS. Here's how you can watch Game 5.
The two teams announced their Game 5 starting lineups a few hours before first pitch. Here is the starting nine the Yankees, the visiting team, will send out there:
Standard postseason lineup for the Yankees, though Gardner did hit sixth in Game 4. Higashioka is Cole's personal catcher, though he has supplanted the struggling Gary Sanchez as the team's starting catcher this postseason anyway. This will be Higashioka's third straight start behind the plate. The Yankees don't pinch-hit much, though Clint Frazier looms as a righty threat.
Cole is starting Game 5 on short rest -- it will be his first career short rest start -- and Friday afternoon manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, he does not have a pitch limit. They're going to talk it through on a inning-by-inning basis and watch for signs of fatigue. As expected, Boone confirmed all his relievers are available.
Now here is the starting lineup the Rays will use in Game 5. They are the home team and will bat last:
The Rays used 59 different lineups in 60 regular season games and this is their fifth different lineup of the ALDS. Meadows missed much of September with an oblique injury and is making just his second start in the field since Sept. 18. Choi, it should be noted, is 10 for 19 (.526) with four home runs in his career against Cole. That includes a two-run homer in Game 1. As always, expect the Rays to employ pinch-hitters strategically throughout the game.
Glasnow threw 93 pitches in Game 2 on Tuesday and is starting on two days' rest. This would be his normal between-starts throw day and he's expected to function as an opener, and give the team an inning or two. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, they will see how much they can get out of Glasnow and Blake Snell before using their traditional relievers. Snell started Game 1 and is expected to come out of the bullpen at some point.