New York Yankees: Can the Yankees sweep the Cleveland Indians?

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, jameson taillon
Apr 7, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, left, takes the ball from starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) during the top of the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Today at 1:10 pm, the New York Yankees will meet the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a four-game set that has seen the Yankees come alive and win the first three games outscoring the Indians 13-7. Last night the Yankees won an epic battle between the Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole and the Indians ace Shane Bieber. It was surely a  pitching duel as advertised, but the Yankees were victorious, winning 2-1.

Now the question is can the Yankees sweep the Indians? In today’s matinee, Yankee pitcher Jameston Taillon will try to make that a reality when he faces the Indians’ Triston McKenzie. The Yankees have lost two of Taillon’s three starts, and he has averaged only 4.2 innings per outing. McKenzie suffers similar stats, the Indians have lost all of his starts, and he has only averaged 4 innings per game. If the New York Yankees can pull out a win today, it will be their 6th straight win over Cleveland. The Yankees swept the Indians in last season’s Wild Card matchup. If Taillon doesn’t go deep today, Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman will both be available.

Game One:

Yankee starter Domingo German had a bad first inning in game one but pitched four more scoreless innings, keeping the Yankees in the game. Other than that first inning, German impressed the Yankee management. The Yankee bullpen took over and did not allow another run. Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman was lights out, closing the game.

Gleyber Torres played in game one with new aggressiveness and energy, getting three hits in five at-bats; he also had his first two-hit game of the season. Rougned Odor was again a Yankee hero breaking the game tie wide open with his two-run single. The Yankees had more hits in that game than the last two series with 8 hits. Kyle Higashioka continued to assert his value to the team in game one, becoming the actual home run leader based on the number of games played. (3 in only ten games).

Game Two:

In game two in Cleveland, Ohio, the New York Yankees hit four homers in one game for the first time this season for a team with mostly silent bats since the beginning of the season. The Yankees won the game 5-3 to string two wins in a row together. In game two, slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit two monster home runs (4). Other players hitting home runs in the game were Aaron Hicks (2) and Rougie Odor (2).

Just as in game one, starter Jordan Montgomery got in trouble in the first inning, giving up three runs. But he settled down and pitched scoreless into the fifth inning. The Yankee bullpen continued to shine, not giving up a run for the remainder of the game. Aroldis Chapman rose to new heights in the game. In seven games (seven innings), Chapman has yet to give up a home run. He has struck out 17 of 21 batters faced. That’s 22.5 strikeouts per nine innings. In this first seven games of the season, his ERA is 0.00.

Game Three:

The New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, in a big epic game 3 against the Cleveland Indians 2020 Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber, Cole was nothing less than dominant. With 111 pitches, he threw 75 strikes, striking out 11 Indians in 7 innings of work without allowing a walk. He allowed one run and lowered his ERA to 1.71. With Cole going deep into the game, it allowed minimal use of the bullpen. Justin Wilson pitched two-thirds of the eighth inning scoreless. After using Chapman two games in a row, manager Boone showed his confidence in Yankee reliever Jonathan Loaisiga by allowing him to get the last four outs of the game. It was Loaisiga’s first-ever save.

In game three, Rougie Odor continued to impress, hitting another home run. Even though his batting average stinks, he is turning out to be one of the best situational hitters. He has 3 home runs on the season, only playing in 10 games. But in the Yankees’ last 7 wins, he has had the deciding run in three of them.

Will the New York Yankees sweep the Indians?

That’s either a fool’s question or only a fool would answer it. The Yankees have some pretty impressive sweeps. In 1961 the Yankees swept 18 series. In 1997 they swept 10 two-game sweeps. In 1961 and again in 1985, they had five each sweeps in 4 game series and a record 5 game sweep in 2006.  A sweep of the Indians will energize the team as they start a 3 game set with the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow at Camden Yards.