The New York Yankees got their playoff journey off to a powerful start with a super game plan versus one of the best pitchers in baseball getting 4 home runs coupled with a dominating performance from Gerrit Cole en route to a 12-3 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of their Wild Card Series in Cleveland.
The game plan was brilliant and well-conceived by the Yankees as they attacked fastballs early in the count not letting Justin Bieber use his terrific curve ball he loves to utilize ahead in the count. The Yankee offense was so dominant that Bieber gave up more runs on this night than he did in the ENTIRE regular season.
The Yankee dominance took place in the bottom half of the innings as well. Gerrit Cole was incredible striking out 13 hitters putting this game in his back pocket after Aaron Judge hit a 2 run homer to get the night going. Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner and Giacarlo Stanton also went yard as the Yankees kept adding onto the lead giving Cole a great cushion to pitch his game.
But the amazing thing to me about this game was how the Yankee game plan made a pitcher feel uncomfortable who will likely have a Cy Young Award on his mantle come this winter. They attacked him with great pitch selection up and down their lineup that forced him to pay for first pitch fastballs all night long.
Masahiro Tanaka will take the hill in Cleveland tonight for the Yankees in Game 2 where a win will send them to the ALDS. Carlos Carrasco pitches for the Indians with their season on the line and don’t underrate Carrasco as he performed well during the truncated season sporting a 2.91 ERA in 12 games.
Of course Tanaka has been a big time playoff performer as he has a Yankee career post-season ERA of 1,76 as he always steps up in the playoffs.
For the Yankees on this night the box score illustrated what they are capable of both offensively and with a starting rotation duo of Cole and Tanaka coupled with a deep bullpen. The first part of the exacta worked like a charm last night and if Tanaka performs tonight it could be bad news for the rest of baseball. Power hitting and great starting pitching is a highly unbeatable combination.