The Puerto Rican native got all of it, crushing it into the right field stands, energizing the packed house at Progressive Field.
If Encarnacion is available, the option remains open that Brantley will start the game in left field, as Francona alluded to on Friday. In the 2015 wild-card game loss to the Houston Astros, his five innings of two-run ball were not going to be a match for the six scoreless from Dallas Keuchel. Among starters throwing the pitch more than 10 percent of the time, only Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians (3.6 runs saved per 100 pitches) and Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks (2.8 runs saved per 100 pitches) had a more effective change-up during the regular season. The Japanese right-hander, maybe making his last start with the Yankees with a decision whether to opt out of his contract looming, make Cleveland looked like it was swinging mallets at gnats. "Kluber is clearly the best pitcher in the American League".
The 18-game victor gave up three hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
The Yankees built up momentum racking up an impressive 8-3 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Cleveland didn't give up hope though and for a good reason. Catcher Gary Sanchez pointed out that the ball had hit the end of Chisenhall's bat, but Girardi opted not to review and then watched as Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam. Should the ALDS be tied at one game apiece right now? It's still a tall order to win three straight against a team that didn't lose three in one 33-game stretch this year. "And, yeah, I should've challenged it, now that I think about it". With their backs up against the wall, the Yankees will turn to a familiar face in Masahiro Tanaka.
Bruce's big day was extra painful for the Yankees because the outfielder was nearly sent to the Bronx back in August, but the Mets dealt him to Cleveland instead when the Indians offered to pay his full salary.
Tomlin did better than good for the Tribe in a tough situation.
Sanchez caught the 0-2 pitch, which would have been an inning-ending third strike if ruled a foul tip.
Jackson drew a leadoff walk in the 13th from Dellin Betances and stole second. Join the Factory of Sadness team!
Bauer set a new single-game personal playoff best with eight strikeouts, and allowed just two hits and one walk over 6.2 innings of work on the way to his first playoff win. However, that's what fans may have been thinking when he took the mound in Game 1, proving postseason baseball is much harder to predict than what the Browns will do on any given Sunday.
On the mound for NY is Masahiro Tanaka (RHP, 13-12, 4.74 ERA, 194K), who will face off against the Indians' Carlos Carrasco (RHP, 18-6, 3.29 ERA, 226K).