All of the offense that the Yankees’ displayed in Tuesday night’s Wild Card game against the Twins was absent in their Game 1 loss to Cleveland. Trevor Bauer was able to make good on Terry Francona’s faith in him to start the series and dominated New York for his entire outing.
Greg Bird was able to work a walk off Bauer in his first place appearance of the night, but he was the only Yankee to reach base aside from Aaron Judge making it to first on a strikeout that got away until Aaron Hicks was able to break up the no-hitter with a double in the sixth inning. Judge was promptly erased by a Gary Sanchez double play after he reached.
Bauer allowed just two hits in 6.2 innings of work. He walked one and struck out eight. Andrew Miller followed Bauer from the bullpen, and was the dominant force Yankee fans remember from his time in pinstripes in his first inning of work. The Yankee offense could do nothing offensively to that point.
Signs of life for the offense appeared in the eighth inning. Credit goes to Chase Headley and Hicks for making Miller work with the former resulting in a walk and the latter ultimately ending in a strike out but driving up the reliever’s pitch count. Brett Gardner followed that with a walk that chased Miller from the game and forced Francona to go to closer Cody Allen with the tying run on deck. Judge had a chance to bring the Yankees to within one with two outs, but he went down swinging to end the team’s only real threat.
On the flip side, Sonny Gray struggled mightily. He lasted just 3.1 innings after surrendering three earned runs on three hits. Walks were his big culprit with four free passes issued. Another Cleveland run scored on Adam Warren who came on in relief of Gray to give the opposition a 4-0 lead. Surprisingly enough, Jaime Garcia was fairly serviceable in his relief appearance, holding the very strong Cleveland offense hitless in 2.2 innings. Dellin Betances got into the game and looked the part of Dominant Dellin instead of Disaster Dellin, which was incredibly good to see. He struck out the side easily.
Things won’t get easier for New York in Game 2 tomorrow, as Cleveland sends the probable AL Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber to the mound. However, CC Sabathia has been the team’s stopper all season, and he has enough experience to not let his nerves get to him. Hopefully the offense can back him up.
Here’s a silver lining for your optimism:
Yankees have been shut out in Game 1 twice.— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 6, 2017
Came back to win series both times (2004 ALDS, 2000 ALCS)