The Cleveland Indians defeated the New York Yankees 4-0 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday night.
A lot of people seemed to criticize manager Terry Francona for some questionable decisions he made but in the end, it paid off in a victory and that’s all that matters.
He tabbed Trevor Bauer over Corey Kluber to start the series off on the mound, a move that left many scratching their head but Bauer silenced those critics in a major way.
Bauer was dominant in his 6.2 innings pitched, giving up two hits, a walk and recorded eight strikeouts in his fifth career postseason.
He had his fastball and curveball working at his best in a huge moment for his career dominating the Yankees bats.
Bauer along with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen had 14 strikeouts, half of which came from Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious, the heart of the Yankees lineup.
Another gamble by Francona was putting Jason Kipnis at centerfield. Many questioned if the 11 game audition was enough for the veteran to earn a starting spot but he also silenced the doubts with this.
Even I was concerned that Kipnis could be a potential liability in center but he silenced Indians fans and critics for the time being with an unbelievable play.
Their performances capped off by Jay Bruce’s big night at the plate insured the Indians the win and the early series lead.
Bruce went 2-3 with a two-run home run in the fourth and had three runs batted. The other run scored came on a double play ball hit by Roberto Perez and Bruce scored from third base.
Game 2 takes place Friday evening with a duel of former Cy Young Award winners.
Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25 ERA) will go for Cleveland while the Yankees send out former Indian C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).