Friday Playoff Primer: Bieber, Guardians in the Bronx, NLDS all even


The Associated Press



Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, right, watches his players workout ahead of Game 2 of an American League Division series baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, right, watches his players workout ahead of Game 2 of an American League Division series baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado, center, leaves the batting cage during a baseball workout Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in San Diego. The Padres host the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 of an NL Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)


FILE - Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard reacts after falling down injured on his way to first base as he makes the last out during the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League division baseball series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Philadelphia, Oct. 7, 2011. For 11 years, Howard’s groundout in the season’s final at-bat served as a flashpoint for a franchise that briefly ruled the NL East, only to fall into a chasm of bad baseball and meaningless Septembers. The Philadelphia Phillies are set to play their first home playoff game since 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)


Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Guardians try to bounce back in the Bronx, hoping to avoid a wipeout at Yankee Stadium a day after a washout.

Game 2 of the Cleveland-New York matchup in the AL Division Series was postponed Thursday night because of a rainy forecast. Aaron Judge and the Yankees lead 1-0 in the best-of-five series.

The teams will play Friday afternoon, then meet Saturday night in Cleveland.

In the NL Division Series, there will be a pair of Game 3s — the Los Angeles Dodgers visit San Diego and Atlanta plays at Philadelphia. Both series are tied at 1-all.

In Thursday’s only playoff game, Yordan Alvarez homered again as the Houston Astros beat Seattle 4-2 to take a 2-0 lead.

Bieber was 13-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 200 innings this season, and pitched 7 2/3 innings of three-hit ball to beat Tampa Bay 2-1 last Friday in the wild-card round for his first postseason win. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner will face All-Star lefty Nestor Cortes (12-4).

This week’s rainout ended any chance Cleveland would start Bieber on short rest late in the series. Without the showers, he would have had three days of rest between Game 2 and a potential Game 5. Now, there will be only two days in between.

“It takes out the possibility of Bieber coming back early. Which, to be totally honest, I don’t know how I felt about that to begin with,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said.

Here’s what else to know about the MLB playoffs Friday:

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE (All times ET)

ALDS Game 2: Cleveland at New York Yankees, 1:07 p.m., TBS

NLDS Game 3: Atlanta at Philadelphia, 4:37 p.m., FS1

NLDS Game 3: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego, 8:37 p.m., FS1

HOME, AT LAST

It’s been a long, long time since the Phillies hosted a playoff game. More than a decade ago, in fact, when slugger Ryan Howard crumpled to the ground in pain after making the last out at Citizens Bank Park in the 2011 NLDS loss to St. Louis.

Philadelphia star Bryce Harper hadn’t even made his major league debut at the point. But he’ll certainly draw huge cheers when Aaron Nola and the wild-card Phillies face the NL East champion Braves. Atlanta hasn’t yet named its starting pitcher — it’s expected to be either veteran Charlie Morton or rookie Spencer Strider, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 18 because of an oblique injury.

Citizens Bank Park has undergone a proper postseason makeover. The playoff logos were painted on the field and bunting wafted from the concourse. Concession stand signs advertised Red October punch, $15.99 for a concoction of vodka, lemonade and juices. Even Howard was represented with a chicken sandwich named The Big Piece, in honor of his nickname, that comes served on a sweet Hawaiian bun.

LETTING LOOSE

Padres lefty Blake Snell says he expects the atmosphere at Petco Park to be “pretty insane” when he faces Dodgers righty Tony Gonsolin.

The last time the Padres had a home playoff game in front of their fans was 2006. San Diego won a home wild-card series against St. Louis in 2020, but the ballpark had no crowds because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Snell has pitched in the playoffs at Petco before, making three starts with Tampa Bay in the AL bubble following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, without fans in the stands.

“This has always been one of my favorite ballparks to play in, so I cherish it a lot more being that now we’ll have fans and it’s San Diego fans and it’s in San Diego. I like that a lot more,” Snell said.

UMBRELLAS UP

José Ramírez and the Guardians were rained out nine times at home this season due to Cleveland’s inconsistent and unpleasant weather.

They had two more postponements on the road, one because of a COVID-19 outbreak. That forced the Guardians to play eight doubleheaders — they even had to push back a celebration and flag-raising ceremony late last month to salute their AL Central championship due to a rainy forecast.

Francona said he’s never seen anything like it.

“And it sounds like when we get back to Ohio, it’s not perfect. They think it’s going to be OK, but we’ll be dodging some raindrops both days it looks like,” he said.

His solution?

“Play a doubleheader. We’re used to it,” he joked.

New York won Tuesday night’s opener in the best-of-five series 4-1, and the rainout followed an unusual scheduled off day between Games 1 and 2.

Now, the clubs could play four days in a row.

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Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, right, watches his players workout ahead of Game 2 of an American League Division series baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/10/web1_129922194-e5a379693a4b43f392baaf6bfd238b08.jpgCleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, right, watches his players workout ahead of Game 2 of an American League Division series baseball game against the New York Yankees Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado, center, leaves the batting cage during a baseball workout Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in San Diego. The Padres host the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 of an NL Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/10/web1_129922194-7f9bd15e1ae84b10a7a1140421749007.jpgSan Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado, center, leaves the batting cage during a baseball workout Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in San Diego. The Padres host the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 of an NL Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

FILE – Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard reacts after falling down injured on his way to first base as he makes the last out during the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League division baseball series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Philadelphia, Oct. 7, 2011. For 11 years, Howard’s groundout in the season’s final at-bat served as a flashpoint for a franchise that briefly ruled the NL East, only to fall into a chasm of bad baseball and meaningless Septembers. The Philadelphia Phillies are set to play their first home playoff game since 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/10/web1_129922194-90108a8d701449b18eab3c7bc0f0529a.jpgFILE – Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard reacts after falling down injured on his way to first base as he makes the last out during the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League division baseball series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Philadelphia, Oct. 7, 2011. For 11 years, Howard’s groundout in the season’s final at-bat served as a flashpoint for a franchise that briefly ruled the NL East, only to fall into a chasm of bad baseball and meaningless Septembers. The Philadelphia Phillies are set to play their first home playoff game since 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The Associated Press