The series of unfortunate events that transpired for the Yankees during Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday night may seem like a faint memory now, considering that New York is once again bound for Cleveland in another postseason do-or-die, winner-take-all game against the Indians on Wednesday. But if the Yankees want to survive and advance to the ALCS for a meeting with the Houston Astros, they shouldn’t forget about that heartbreaking loss at Progressive Field, as the night did begin on a high note.
The Yankees’ lone takeaway from Game 2 was how well they fared against Corey Kluber — the Indians’ ace who is still deemed the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award by season’s end. Kluber was simply a shell of himself on Friday, as his season-high six runs and seven hits allowed in just 2.2 innings of work not only stunned the baseball world but also the hometown faithful. He wound up with no decision, as Cleveland pulled off a miraculous comeback, but New York’s tattooing of Kluber actually allowed the Yankee Stadium crowd to confidently chant “We Want Kluber” prior to the final pitch in New York’s Game 4 win.
Of course, it’s hard to imagine Kluber pitching so poorly again. He hadn’t allowed six runs in an outing since April, and in his ensuing start, he pitched a complete game shutout. If the Yankees can crack Kluber’s code once again, they’d be well-deserving of a series victory. But even if they can’t, the team still likes their chances with CC Sabathia on the bump.