After a long rollercoaster of a journey, we have finally made it to the Postseason! The New York Yankees finished their 2020 season 33-27 and secured the 5th-overall seed in the American League. In the first round of the playoffs, the AL Wild Card Series, the Bronx Bombers will travel to face the 4th-seeded Cleveland Indians for a best-of-three game set in Cleveland. Win or go home. both sides are firing on all cylinders, looking for the advantage. October baseball: Must watch television.
Game 1 Final: Yankees 12, Indians 3
Probables: NYY Gerrit Cole (7-4, 2.84 ERA) vs CLE Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.63 ERA)
Win / Loss / Save: WP, NYY Cole (1-0) / LP, CLE Bieber (0-1)
Welcome to the playoffs! The New York Yankees flipped the switch and stepped up to the plate in game one of the ALWCS against the Cleveland Indians. A prime-time pitching matchup was in store as the $324 million man Gerrit Cole battled the American League Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber.
Gerrit Cole proved why he deserves he largest pitching contract in baseball with an overwhelming and impressive performance on the rubber. Dialed in all throughout his start, Cole featured pinpoint accuracy along with a live fastball that touched 98 MPH. Going 7.0 IP, the right-hander allowed 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER 0 BB and 13 K. His 13 strikeouts are the most by a Yankees starter in his postseason debut, per ESPN. Only Roger Clemens, who struck out 15, has fanned more in a postseason outing than Cole did.
Immediately doing damage early, the Yankees put two runs on the board within the first four pitches of the game. DJ LeMahieu opened the game up with a single and Aaron Judge crushed a first pitch fastball over the centerfield wall. Firmly holding a 2-0 lead after one, the Yankees weren’t done.
In the 3rd, New York added one more to the lead as a two-out RBI double from Luke Voit scored Aaron Hicks. After a Jose Ramierez RBI double by Cleveland, the Yankees would counter with a pair of their own runs. The debate of starting Brett Gardner over Clint Frazier proved pivotal as Gardner connected on an RBI double. Shortly after, LeMahieu would add another RBI single. 4-1 New York after four.
In the 5th, Gleyber Torres sent a two-run shot over the high wall in left-center to push the Yankees’ lead to five. The turning point in game one was in the 7th inning for the Bombers. Torres, again, added an RBI single to his night and Gardner belted a two-run home run to extend the lead to a staggering 11-2 score. Putting the cherry on top of a offensive downpour in Game one, Giancarlo Stanton added one more in the ninth with a moonshot home run to left.
Gleyber Torres was the clear ‘Player of the Game’ for New York. The young shortstop went 4-for-4 with HR, 3 RBI, BB and 3 R. Also having an impressive night at the dish, you can’t look over the performance of Brett Gardner. The veteran outfielder showed his production by going 3-for-5 with HR, 2B, 3 RBI and 2 R.
An outstanding effort on the mound and at the plate from New York propells them into the Game one winning column. Holding a 1-0 game lead in a best-of-three series, the Bombers will look to advance tomorrow night. Final: New York 12, Cleveland 3.
Player of the Game: SP Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 13 K, Win
Game 2 Final: Yankees 10, Indians 9
Probables: NYY Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.56 ERA) vs CLE Carlos Carrasco (3-4, 2.91 ERA)
Win / Loss / Save: WP, NYY Chapman (1-0) / LP, CLE Hand (0-1)
In one of the wildest games of the year and four hours of absolute mayhem, the New York Yankees take down the Cleveland Indians and advance to the ALDS!
From the start, the elimination game was filled with oddities. A first-inning, 40+ minute rain delay was in effect and rocked both starting pitchers. After the rain settled, Tanaka was not his best, but did settle in after his rocky first inning. All in all, his line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
After New York fell behind 4-0 in a 1st inning that was split with a rain delay, Giancarlo Stanton did his effort to even the deceit with his second home run in as many games. In the 4th, the Yankees offense took control of the game. Loading the bases with no outs, Gio Urshela smacked a go-ahead GRAND SLAM to take a 5-4 lead in the 4th. We’re not even half way through, and this could be an all-time postseason game to rembember. An inning later, Stanton added a sacrifice fly to push the score to 6-4, but Cleveland would tie it in the bottom of the inning.
The New York offense would not go down without a fight as Gary Sanchez connected on a wind-assisted two-run home run to right. Now, the Yankees held an 8-4 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th, Zack Britton was all over the place. Settling the first two hitters, the left-hander allowed the next two to reach base. Manager Aaron Boone questionably brought in Johnathan Loaisiga from the bullpen, as he allowed the game-tying and eventually go-ahead runs to cross the plate.
Once Cleveland brought in closer Brad Hand, it looked like the dust had settled. A Stanton walk, Urshela single and a Torres single led to a Gary Sanchez sacrifice fly to tie the game at 9. DJ LeMahieu followed his lead and knocked in a go-ahead single to ultimately win the game.
In a wild fight, New York clawed their way to a two-of-three series sweep and will face Tampa Bay in the ALDS. Final: New York 10, Cleveland 9. Division rivals. Win or advance.
Player of the Game: 3B Gio Urshela – 2-5, 4RBI, 2 R, HR
Player of the Series: SS Gleyber Torres – 5-7, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, .714 AVG
Upcoming Series: vs Tampa Bay Rays (San Diego)
Photo: Jason Miller / Getty Images