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After a Monday rainout, the Guardians had the chance to start ace Shane Bieber on short rest in a win-or-go-home ALDS Game 5 against the Yankees. Instead, the Guardians stayed the course and started Aaron Civale at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees and slugger Giancarlo Stanton seemed to enjoy that decision greatly to set the tone in an eventual 5-1 Yankees win. 

The Yankees will now move on to the ALCS while the Guardians' season is over. 

Stanton took Civale deep in the first with a three-run shot: 

That was a 379-footer to right center clocked at 107.5 miles per hour off the bat. If it didn't seem all that impressive, it's because we're spoiled by Stanton's superhuman strength. 

The next batter for the Yankees, Josh Donaldson, reached on an infield single. We're mentioning this here because that would be the final batter Civale faced. 

Civale's final line: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, HBP, 1 K. Coincidentally, the only Yankees hitter he retired was Aaron Judge, who swung through a high curve on a 3-2 count. 

"In a normal game, you can let him get his footing," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said during an in-game interview. "I'm not sure we could do that today."

Civale became just the 37th pitcher in history to last 1/3 of an inning or less in a postseason start. The most recent was Braves starter Dylan Lee in Game 4 of the 2021 World Series. He was removed with the bases loaded and one out. The Braves weren't really planning on taking him deep in the game anyway. 

"He just didn't come out commanding very well," Francona said after the game. "Walk, four-pitch walk, a hit batsman. Before we had a chance to settle into the game, you know, he elevated a cutter to Stanton and it's three, and then there's an infield hit. I felt terrible taking him out that quickly, but I just didn't think we could give up any more. I knew it was a big ask with our bullpen. I thought they actually did terrific just to hold it to kind of what they did."

The Guardians did, in fact, have well-rested relief studs in Sam Hentges, Trevor Stephan, James Karinchak and especially Emmanuel Clase -- the best closer left in the playoffs, and he hadn't thrown since Game 2. Surely the Guardians were hoping for more work and fewer runs from Civale, but their road map didn't include extended work from him. 

As it turns out, the Guardians finished the game with just those four specific relievers. Said relievers did allow two more runs, including a Judge homer off Hentges. Still, there are bound to be questions about Bieber. 

Bieber had never been used before in his career on short rest. Had the Guardians won, he would've made a fine Game 1 starter in the ALCS. Of course, you can't look ahead before winning. Then again, we could counter that argument by pointing out the Guardians were unlikely to win with just one run anyway. Hey, maybe they would've won, 1-0, with Bieber on short rest and the bullpen taking over whenever he ran out of gas. We'll never know. 

Regardless of how it went down, the Guardians are now going home for the winter after a very successful 2022 season. They shocked a good number of people by winning the AL Central and then advancing to the ALDS. They'll look to retool in the offseason.