The New York Yankees faced off against the Cleveland Indians in the first game of the AL Wild Card on Tuesday evening. In what was supposed to be a pitching dual-ended up being a dominant victory for the Yankees, who posted 12 runs to the Indians three.
Indians starter Shane Bieber entered the postseason as one of the more dominant arms in the MLB this year. He finished the regular season with a 1.63 ERA and only allowed 14 runs over 77 innings. He hadnâ€™t given up three runs or more in any start this season, but surrendered seven earned runs to the Yankees, watching his postseason ERA bubble to 13.50.
Good news and bad news for the New York Yankees:
There was plenty of good news for the Yankees in their victory in game one. Offensively, they produced 15 hits and 12 runs, with multiple batters tallying two or more hits on the evening. The notable contributors were Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres, who combined for five RBIs and five hits. I would be remiss not to mention Brett Gardner, who logged three RBIs and a home run in the seventh inning, driving in Torres.
Overall, this outing for the Bronx Bombers was excellent and proved that they belong in playoff contention. As for their ace, Gerrit Cole, he lasted seven innings, allowing just six hits and two earned runs. He struck out 13 batteries, which was a Yankee postseason record. His performance justified his $324 million deal he signed this past off-season, and will undoubtedly be a focal point for them moving forward.
Not only did the Yankees torture Bieber all evening, but they also rallied against their bullpen, putting up five runs in the later innings. The scoresheet is littered with Yankee hits and runs batted in, so it seems manager Aaron Boone sparked the potential his team holds. With all of their primary batters healthy and ready to go, this Yankee team on a hot streak is not one you want to face off against.
Some other interesting stats, Gleyber Torres is the first Yankees shortstop with at least four hits and three RBIs in the postseason game. That is a big statement considering the legacy that is Derek Jeter. In addition, the last time a pitcher had 13 strikeouts and zero walks in a postseason game was Tom Seaver back in 1973. What a performance by Cole.
The negatives donâ€™t consist of anything from the victory over Cleveland, they rely entirely on the momentum they have acquired. Completely dominating Cleveland 12-3 is fantastic, but if they canâ€™t keep the positive momentum going, it wonâ€™t mean much. With Masahiro Tanaka on the mound in game two, the Yankees have a fantastic opportunity to take a significant lead early on. However, the offense must remain consistent.