Facing elimination in Game 4, the Baltimore Orioles found a way to fight back in a 13-inning thriller Thursday night and force a deciding Game 5 to determine which team would face the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series beginning Saturday.
In the win-or-go-home series finale, the Yankees sent their ace, CC Sabathia (15-6, 3.38 ERA—1-0, 2.08 ERA in ALDS), to the mound to face off against Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.43 ERA—0-0, 3.18 ERA in ALDS) of the Orioles.
Making the national headlines prior to the start of the game was the news that New York decided to bench probable future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez and start Eric Chavez at third base instead.
In the end, the Yankees ended up not needing Rodriguez, as they held off Baltimore, 3-1, behind a dominant performance from Sabathia to move on to the ALCS for the 15th time since its inception in 1969.
Without further adieu, here are the grades from Game 5...