CLEVELAND, OHIO — Well folks, your New York Yankees were about as splendid as advertised. The Bronx Bombers carpet-bombed the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of their American League Wild Card Series, with a 12-3 victory.
A lot of prognosticators thought the Yankees would be overmatched against Shane Bieber but as we learned, never say never. That’s because the Yankee lineup ate up the Tribe and it was yummy.
What do you mean? I mean the Bronx Bombers were aggressive and kept the peddle to the meddle. Batting champion DJ LeMahieu set the table with a “Jeterian” leadoff single during the first frame. The ensuing batter Aaron Judge lifted the gorilla off their backs and put the team on his shoulders with a two-run tater to right-center.
Judge’s home run was his ninth, tied for the most through the first 28 postseason contests in franchise history.
That early output allowed Gerrit Cole some early breathing room to do his thing. Cole did not disappoint. Brought in to put the Yankees over the top in the postseason, Cole racked up 13 K’s, most in a Yankee postseason pitching debut.
Cole also joined Tom Seaver (1973) as the only pitchers with 13+ K’s and zero walks in a postseason game. Plus, he became the first pitcher with multiple postseason starts of 12+ K’s and zero walks, first with three postseason starts of 12+ K’s and the first AL pitcher with 13+ K’s and zero walks in a postseason start.
Complete dominance and seven innings of two-run ball before handing off to Luis Cessa.
The rest of the lineup went off as well. Luke Voit rocked an RBI-double to left to plate Aaron Hicks during the third inning. In the fourth frame, is it too late to say sorry, Yankee Twitter? Brett Gardner lined an RBI-double to left, scoring Gleyber Torres. Later in the inning, despite the best efforts of Francisco Lindor at shortstop, LeMahieu plated Kyle Higashioka with an infield hit.
During the fifth frame, the Yankees’ 23-year-old shortstop Torres went baby, baby, baby, oh, and socked a two-run tater to left-center, sending Bieber to the showers.
The Bronx Bombers continued their offensive into the seventh against the Tribe bullpen. Gio Urshela lifted a sacrifice fly to right against Adam Cimber. Torres knocked out his second pitcher of the night by following with an RBI-single to center. Facing Cam Hill, Gardner cranked a two-run round-tripper to center.