However, with Sonny Gray pitching Game 1, if he gives the Yankees the six innings of two-run ball he's consistently given them all year, the Yanks will have a great chance of beating Trevor Bauer and taking a 1-0 lead over the Indians.
Bauer - the man with the 5.27 postseason ERA previous year, the man whose playoff history is mostly remembered for his bloody finger - looked like he switched bodies with Kluber as he started Game 1 of the American League Divison Series against the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
The Indians come into the game with the best record in the American League, 102-60, having won 34 of their last 38 games, a streak that included their American League-record, 22-game winning streak.
The Yankees' outfield - Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Judge - combined to go 1-for-10 with six strikeouts in Game 1. "They've got some scrappy guys that put the ball in play and run", Bauer said. The only other hit against Bauer was a single by Starlin Castro with two outs in the seventh. Judge stuck out for a fourth time with two on and two out against Cody Allen in the eighth.
Jay Bruce's two-run homer off Sonny Gray, which followed a leadoff walk by Edwin Encarnacion, gave the Indians a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
With Corey Kluber set to take the mound in Game 2 tomorrow, the stakes could not be higher for the Yankees as they look to even the series rather than head back home in a 2-0 hole. "Don't let up. Let up just once, you're finished". "Obviously, there was different circumstances a year ago that we were dealing with".
"It's a weird thing, " Sabathia said. The 1921 and 1922 Yankees lost to the New York Giants.
If you believe 10 2/3 innings is a large enough sample size to draw from, you would think the Indians have handled Gray well.
When paired with the rest of his arsenal, Bauer overwhelmed the Yankees while the Indians gained command of the team's best-of-five series. "He's done everything coming back". Should that happen, the game would be played Saturday, during the scheduled off-day, and Games Two through Four would be played three consecutive days. He's gone multiple innings. "He's also got a changeup you have to be aware of as a left-handed hitter". "But we plan to use him as a big weapon".
In their first postseason game of 2017, though, the Indians showed us a new trick. Then the Yankees' offense got to work on dismantling Minnesota ace Ervin Santana through a 44-pitch bottom of the first.
It brings into question whether Sanchez might be the designated hitter, with Austin Romine catching Masahiro Tanaka's biting splitters in Game 3. The current weather forecast calls for rain pretty much all day in Cleveland on Friday, meaning Game Two might get postponed.
The Yankees added right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and lefties Jordan Montgomery and Jaime García to their American League Division Series roster on Thursday.