Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 ALDS Story: The New York Yankees vs. the Cleveland Indians

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians are not division rivals. The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians are not bitter rivals or even postseason rivals. Really, the Indians and the Yankees are just two teams both in the American League that are both vying for one thing, the World Series championship. The Indians are facing a drought that has kept the World Series trophy from the team since the 1948 season while the Yankees won their last World Series in 2009, their 27th overall. This is the story of two different teams with two different histories and two different paths to get here… and as of tonight at 7:30 not a damn bit of it matters anymore. This is October. This is the postseason. This is the American League Division Series.

Now I know I may be contradicting myself a bit by covering what these two teams did against one another this season just a few lines after saying none of it matters but stick with me. Even if I spend the next 2000-3000 words talking about the battles that these two teams endured head-to-head here in 2017 it doesn’t change the fact that none of it matters. The playoffs are a second season and it’s not always the best team that wins these short series, sometimes it is the hottest teams and the teams with the most momentum. After Tuesday night you have to think that’s the Yankees, right?

The Yankees and the Indians squared off seven times head-to-head this season with Cleveland winning five of those seven games, ouch if you’re a Yankees fan. You can see a basic breakdown of those games below thanks to Baseball Reference. There’s a few games that look especially scary if you’re a fan of the Bronx Bombers, especially the fact that two of the Yankees five losses were against tonight’s starter Bauer. Again, second season though. Here are the stats:


The pitching matchup is an interesting one if you ask me, especially on the Indians side, as the Yankees send Sonny Gray to the mound to face off with Trevor Bauer for the Indians. You have to wonder why Corey Kluber isn’t starting Game One as he could still be saved for Game Five if necessary but I am not one to question Terry Francona, he has been here before and he probably forgets more baseball knowledge than you or I will ever hope to contain. What have the Yankees done against Bauer here in 2017? What have the Indians done against Gray here in 2017? See below:

2017 Pitching Gamelog
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
21Aug 4CLENYYW,7-2GS-77.07112715.00
27Aug 30(1)CLE@NYYW,2-1GS-66.04114404.46

2017 Pitching Gamelog
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
6May 30OAK@CLEL,4-9GS-54.29772314.72
14Jul 14OAKCLEW,5-0GS-66.02001503.72
17Aug 3NYY@CLEL,1-5GS-66.04423603.41
Photo credit and stat line credit to Baseball Reference.

The Yankees are the underdogs in this series and you didn’t need my post and my ramblings to tell you that. It doesn’t look good but to be honest, who thought the Yankees would even be here right now? Who thought the Yankees would even make the postseason in 2017? Not many. Who thought the Yankees would come back on Tuesday night when the Twins got them down 0-3 early? I’m sure there were more than a few doubters. Who thought the Yankees would even make the postseason when Aaron Judge hit his little slump after the All-Star break? See my previous statement about doubters, yet the Yankees are still here. Yet the Yankees did make the playoffs. Yet the Yankees did survive an early onslaught by Minnesota in the American League Wild Card Game. Yet the Yankees are here and this is their October. I am not afraid, and you shouldn’t be either despite what these stats say. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)