CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s always a little more exciting when you face the Yankees in the playoffs, certainly so when you beat them, and the Indians may not need the midges to do it again. Who can forget 2007, when they rolled right through Joba Chamberlain and New York in five?
But three years ago, up two games to none, it was the Tribe getting flustered, as the Yankees rattled off three straight to knock them out.
This time? Well, it’s definitely unique. A best of three in this Covid world, meaning if you don’t win that first one, you’re already in trouble. The good news for the Indians: all three games are here, and even without a home crowd, that doesn’t hurt. The better news? They have the best pitcher in baseball going tonight. Shane Bieber, the triple-crown ace, leader in wins (8-1), strikeouts (122) and ERA (1.63). The Cy Young is almost certainly next. But first, his first playoff appearance.
The Yankees counter with Gerrit Cole, New York’s $324 million man. There’s a reason they broke the bank for him. He’s one of baseball’s best, with ten more playoff starts than Bieber on his resume.
The question is, who’s gonna bring the bats? Jose Ramirez has been red-hot, hitting his way into MVP consideration (.292, 17 HR’s, 46 RBI in 58 games), but obviously, he’s going to need a lot more help than he was getting in the regular season. As a team, the Indians hit .228.
The Yankees? They’re Bronx Bombers once again. Only four teams belted more than the Yankees’ 94 home runs.
The key for the Tribe is to win Game One, with Bieber on the hill. Otherwise, it’ll be incredible difficult for them to move on.