CLEVELAND, Ohio – There will be a lot of surprising analysis about the Yankees being knocked out of the Wild Card playoff in two games.
The fingers of guilt will be pointed in so many directions that some of us may use fingers to indicate slavery.
But like a sore thumb.
Consider the tribe opening a series with potential Sai Young Award winner Shane Bieber on the mound of his home park.
The Indians rested a big pot to pour the American League Premier and explored the Yankees.
Four pitches in his first playoff game allowed Bieber two runs. He hit 2 2/3 innings, escaping seven runs.
Other things went wrong with the Yankees opening 12-3, but it all started with Bieber.
Now consider the final inning of Game 2.
The Indians took a 9-8 lead in the ninth innings.
The All-Star Bread Hand was on the mound. He was 16-16 years old in a save situation this season.
Unlike Bieber, Hand was not hit hard. A couple ground balls for singles. There was a high chop that the hand fell down.
But in the end, Hand gave up two runs, leading 9-8 to lose 10-9.
No pitch, no win
Here’s my point, at least when it comes to the pitching staff: the series started with a largely untouchable Bieber and ended with a reliable hand in keeping the Indians alive in the BEST — series.
In fact, the pitching of the tribe was a disaster.
The best pitching team in Bezab’s regular season had an Iranian game of 11.00 in two matches against the Yankees. He went 15 in 18 innings. They served seven homers.
There are other areas for Indians to criticize, but the fact that they blew it up, and that was their biggest regular-season strength that was a clear weakness.
Carlos Carresco got a raw deal with MLB with illegal rain delays. At the top of the fourth, Delino DeShields probably got it tripled to the center by Aaron Hicks of New York.
But Caresco then walked away with the next two hitters to load the base. Which ended his innings after three innings.
The haunted gem then meltdowned James Karinchak by giving a grand slam to former Indian Geo Ursella.
Crunch allowed only one homer in the regular season.
It was the first postseason for Bieber and Karinchak. Also for Rookie Tristan McKenzie, who allowed two runs in his 1 1/3 innings.
Matter of other factors
None of this is an excuse for Francisco Linder, Carlos Santana and Frenchmill Reese.
They combined for a disappointing 1-for-23 performance on the plate.
These first posts for Reyes were ason Sun, so that’s a factor.
But Santana and Linder played in the 2016 World Series squad. They were also with the tribe in the 2017 and 2018 playoffs.
And they were horrible.
Linder had the only hit, a double. But he was seen lost several times in his eight-bat, fanning three times. In the last 60 plate appearances of his regular season, he batted.188
All-star shorts felt distracted and shaken on the top plate.
Speaking of Santana, he was 0-for-8 with three strikeouts. Felt lost. Who seemed to have done most of his regular season when he batted.199. Like 2019, the all-star grew terribly old at the age of 34 or forgot how to hit.
The Indian team scored three runs in the opener. Probably not as good as a win-win, but three runs usually kept things with Bieber on the mound.
In Game 2, they kept coming back. They scored nine runs. Josh Nyler and Jordan Luplow were given some big hits.
We can talk later about what all this means for Indians in terms of trade and budget in 2021.
Bottom line for the playoffs: When the Indians needed it the most, it was because the pitching broke down.
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