You can’t make any conclusions yet on the trade for Sonny Gray, but if last night was any indication, the Yanks may not be getting what they bargained for.
Gray did not give the Yankees the length they were looking for as he lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits with four walks and a hit batter. That’s eight batters on base in a relatively short time and were it not for a double play with the bases loaded, it could’ve been much worse.
Gray could not come close to matching Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer, who was spectacular as Cleveland came away with a 4-0 win in game one of the American League Divisional Series. “His (Bauer) curve ball was really good tonight, as good as we’ve seen it,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said
Bauer put the Yankee offense to sleep as he had all his pitches working. He had some help from his defense as Jason Kipnis, who is really a novice in the outfield, made a terrific catch to rob Chase Headley of a potential extra base hit in the third inning.
Aaron Judge had a terrible game as he struck out four times and brought back memories of that horrific slump he was in from late July into August. “He just missed a few pitches”, Girardi said. The top of the Yankee order was invisible as Brett Gardner, Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius combined to go 0 for 15.
So now it’s up to C.C. Sabathia to try and get the Yanks even but the offense may have even more trouble facing Cleveland’s ace Corey Kluber. Indians manager Terry Francona’s tactic of using Bauer in game one and saving the probable AL Cy Young award winner in game two is setting up very nicely thank you.
Girardi is confident Judge can bounce back. He’s done it before this season but he had not come off a four-strikeout game and then have to face a pitcher of Kluber’s caliber the next game.
The Yankee offense was like “Jekyll and Hyde” when it comes to their home/road splits. Combine that with the best pitching the American League and your offense gets blanked in a post season game.
If the Yanks lose game two, the series is not over. I think they can win both of their home games (despite a Cleveland sweep there in early August) because they’ve been so much better at home but in order to complete the task, they will still have to win one in Cleveland.
If they can somehow win tonight, it’s a whole new ballgame.