A capsule look at the Yankees-Indians playoff series

Arnold Nichols
October 6, 2017

Carlos Carrasco will take the hill in Game 3 and Josh Tomlin would start a Game 4, but is still available to pitch in long relief should the Indians need him in either Games 1 or 2.

In this ALDS, Indians manager Terry Francona is carrying 11 pitchers, seven infielders, five outfielders and two catchers on the 25-man roster. The Indians were dominant late in the year, with an AL-record winning streak stretching from late August and through most of September, but NY played.605 ball in the second half themselves, winning 20 of 28 in the month of September.

"There's nothing I can say that's going to be stirring, motivational, substantive in a sense that it's going to change their minds about anything", said Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

- Special Season. These Indians have the look and feel of a destined team.

The Indians are back, but there's now a 6-foot-7, 280-pound baseball-bashing behemoth standing in their way. They have a bullpen to match the one Indians manager Terry Francona can turn to, and their starting pitching is almost on a par with that of the Tribe. And it's not like the Indians are all pitch, no hit: Cleveland was third in the AL in runs (818), second in batting average (.263) and second in OPS (.788). Following last year's Indians-Cubs matchup, Fox is well-aware of how fanbases starved championships will tune in and rabidly cheer for their favorite franchise.

It's amusing to talk about the midges now, but seriously, the midges nearly certainly cost the Yankees that game (you should read Anthony Castrovince's article about it). NY went 51-30 at home, best in the AL, while the Indians were 49-32 at home and 53-28 on road. He went 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts against Cleveland. The Yankees were fifth at 3.72. Many analysts and reporters had the New York Yankees finishing with a.500 record with a virtual 0% chance of making the postseason in 2017. Oh, by the way, let's not forget about that 22-game winning streak the Tribe rolled off in the second half which propelled them to the best finish in baseball this season.


"This is completely different", Indians center fielder Jason Kipnis said. "They're a good team", NY reliever David Robertson said.

"We worked as hard as we could (last year), but definitely they took it away from us. We know that. But that's the way the playoffs should be". We've done it this year and we'd like to do the same. Knocking off the most decorated National League team in this year's field would do a lot to shake the monkey off of their back. "That means everybody went through what happened past year".

The Indians went into the 10th inning in Game 7 of the World Series past year before losing to the Cubs, 8-7. That, perhaps, explains why the Indians started slowly this season; they were saving their best for last. He may bounce back in Game 3 back in the Bronx, but it was shocking to see the Cy Young candidate get so rattled. That's what we were missing. I'm very confident in everyone.

The Indians went into spring training claiming they had some unfinished business to tend do.

That my friends is what they call "lights out" when it comes to the back end of a pitching staff.

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