Terry Francona is not Joe Girardi. He did not get booed Sunday night at Yankee Stadium after the Cleveland Indians manager removed Carlos Carrasco and his 5.2 innings of scoreless ball . Cleveland fans have the trust with lefthander Andrew Miller but that strategy did not work as Miller gave up the home run ball to Greg Bird in the seventh inning.
That was the difference as the Yankees lived another day and extended this best of five series with the Indians to a Game 4 Monday night in the Bronx.
Francona and Girardi are showcasing their skills in this series. It helps when you have two of the best bullpens in the game, Miller gave up his second career home run to a left handed hitter and Francona may get some heat from the fans in Cleveland. The good thing, is the Indians have another game to try and close this out.
Girardi and the Yankees have another game of all hands on deck, their third straight elimination game, so Francona will once again go with Trevor Bauer who will work on short rest and try and close this series.
“Yeah, I consider this normal rest for me,” said Bauer. “I enjoy pitching on short, I guess. But if I could draw it out personally this is how I’d pitch every time. Take my normal two days recovery after my start and then do my day before routine today and then roll it out there tomorrow. So I’m feeling very confident where I’m at.”
And if there has to be that decisive Game 5, Francona will go with the ace Corey Kluber who had his issues Friday night giving up a season high six runs.
Joe Girardi said he will always do his best managing from the dugout. After two decisions that did not go his way in Game 2 of the ALDS with a challenge and lifting starter CC Sabathia, Girardi was ready to redeem himself Sunday night with his team one game away from elimination.
That all worked for Girardi Sunday night. Now it is time for Francona to be tested and the Yankees would be one of a very few to overcome a 0-2 deficit in the best of five ALDS and prevail to the ALCS.
“He might pitch forever tomorrow,” Francona said about Miller. That will be the test for Miller who said, “I’m the guy that lost the game, lost a playoff game. But I feel good about the way I’m throwing the ball. I made a mistake both in location and what I was trying to do.”
Miller said, “You try to learn from it and move on.” Francona and his Indians will move on from this one and realize they are still in command of this series, though the Yankees once again showed how tough they are on the home field.
It worked for Girardi this time. And for Terry Francona, now it his challenge to close out this series and take that chance with Trevor Bauer which makes this a more compelling series after this Yankees win.
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso