The New York Yankees play Game 2 of their MLB first round series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday. The Yankees defeated the Indians in Game 1 on Tuesday 12-3. Aaron Judge started the scoring off for New York early with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning and the Yankees did not look back from their scoring in six of their nine at bats. Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole worked out of jams it seemed in each inning he pitched to earn the win.
Cleveland must now bounce back with a victory in Game 2 or be eliminated from the postseason. Shane Bieber was hit hard by Yankees hitters allowing 7 runs on 9 hits with seven strikeouts, two walks and was pulled after pitching just 4.2 innings. The Indians pitching could not get outs and Indians hitters managed to score just two runs against Gerrit Cole, who did not have his best stuff. Just five batters for the Indians managed to have a hit in the game, with Josh Naylor getting four of the team’s eight.
Yankees Hitters Finding Their StrokeThe Yankees teed off on Indians’ ace Shane Bieber on Tuesday night in Game 1. The Yankees as a team are now batting .249, with a slugging percentage of .447, and on-base percentage of .342. The Yankees increased their run total for the season to 328. Luke Voit continues to impress at the plate with team highs in homers with 22 and RBIs with 52. In Game 1, Voit had two hits and one RBI. DJ LeMahieu seems to make contact each time he steps up to the plate and increases his batting average to a team-leading .364, with a pair of hits in the win. Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner each had three RBIs. Yankees hitters had four home runs on Tuesday.
Although Gerrit Cole struggled on the mound at times, the Yankees pitching is getting the job done. The Yankees team ERA is now just 4.35, while the WHIP has dropped to 1.24. Opposing hitters are average just .236 at the plate against Yankees pitching. The Yankees will start Masahiro Tanaka on the ground in Game 2 on Wednesday. The right-hander during the regular season was 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA with 44 strikeouts. The Yankees won two of Tanaka's last 3 starts, but Tanaka was rocked hard in his most recent outing allowing five runs on eight hits in just four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Wednesday.
Cleveland HItters Need to Find Their StrokeCleveland has struggled at the plate all season and has a team batting average of just .228 and has scored just 251 runs. The Indians have lacked power all season with a slugging percentage of just .372 and the leading home run hitter Jose Ramirez hit just 17 home runs this season and led the Indians in RBIs with just 46. Ramirez was the team leader in batting average as well at 292. In Game 1, of the series, the Indians third baseman was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Left fielder Josh Naylor had three hits and an RBI in the loss, while Tyler Naquin had an RBI in the ninth inning. The Indians were out hit 15 to eight and out homered 4-0 by the Yankees.
Pitching has been the best part of Cleveland’s game this season with the second best team ERA in baseball at 3.29, the second best WHIP at 1.11 and opposing hitters average just .223 at the plate, which was fourth best in baseball. The Indians will counter Tanaka with Carlos Carrasco. The right-hander this season was 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 82 strikeouts. Cleveland was victorious in each of the right-handers last two starts and over that stretch Carrasco gave up two runs on just four hits across 13 innings pitched with victories over the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Cleveland is 7-2 in the last 9 overall
- The Indians are 6-2 in the last 8 at home
- New York is 2-4 in the last 6
- The Yankees are 3-4 in the last 7 on the road against Cleveland