Cleveland – 5
New York – 1
Short and Sweet:
With all of the hype around tonight’s game, being Sonny Gray’s debut start for the New York Yankees after being traded to them from the Oakland Athletics during the MLB trade deadline, all eyes were on the newly acquired all-star.
Also, on the must-watch radar going into tonight’s game, former Cleveland prospect Clint Frazier’s first time playing at Progressive Field. As a refresher, Frazier went to the Yankees last season with other prospects for Tribe relief phenom Andrew Miller (who’s currently on the 10-day DL).
Both, Gray and Frazier, had a rough beginning to game one of the series. Of the first three batters to face Cleveland starter Corey Kluber, who retired the side quickly in the first inning, Frazier was the second up, and second down (went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts).
Later on in the bottom of the first, Gray struggled to keep control, something he’s done so well throughout his season, and the mess of a defense behind him didn’t help. Three errors just in the top of the first occurred, and of the three errors, Frazier committed the most influential. On an off balance throw from center, he sent the ball straight into the camera bay next to the Indian’s dugout, allowing Cleveland to score two off a Jose Ramirez single.
Cleveland continued to tack on the runs again in the sixth inning and in the seventh. In the bottom six, catcher Yan Gomes hit, what looked to be a homer into the bleachers, a 2-run double, his 14th on the season, to score Carlos Santana and Brandon Guyer. Later in the seventh, SS Francisco Lindor shot one over the fence for his 18 HR this year, putting the Tribe up 4 runs over the Yankees. The home run by Lindor would extend his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games.
The New York bats only got to Kluber once, with a Gary Sanchez home run to finally put the Yankees on the board in the seventh. Aside from that one run, Kluber kept them at three hits, a walk and another night of double-digit strikeouts (11), his tenth double-digit K night of the season. In the fifth inning, Kluber actually tied former Indians pitcher Gary Bell for the 8th most strikeouts in Indians history (1,104), doing this in just 1007.0 IP over seven years, compared to Bell’s 1550.1 IP over ten years.
This would be exactly enough to wrap up game one of the four-game series for these two teams. Kluber stayed on the mound for Cleveland through all nine innings, his third complete game of the season, and 13th of his career. With this win, it puts them three games above second place Kansas CIty.
Tribe Top Three:
1. Corey Kluber – Ace – 94 %
As stated above, Kluber had one hell of an evening at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. He hit a new milestone in his career, tying and eventually taking over, 8th in Indians history for most strikeouts. While on the topic of strikeouts, Kluber ended up whiffing 11 Yankees tonight, his 10th double-digit strikeout night of 2017.
On top of that, Kluber completed his 13th complete game of his career and third of the season. His arsenal of pitches kept the Yankees from figuring him out and shut them down looking time after time.
2. Francisco Lindor – SS – 4 %
Lindor has been shutting down those who’ve started to doubt him this season. He hasn’t looked himself through most of 2017, however since coming back from the ASB, Lindor has returned to the form we know and love. Lindor hit his 18th homer, an added insurance run in response to the Sanchez homer, extending his current hitting streak to 13 games. Up to tonight, he has put together his third 12-game hitting streak of the season.
3. Yan Gomes – C – 1 %
Gomes has again shown up to the ball park on fire, even though his batting average (.224) would stay otherwise. He’s come up in times when needed, any way possible, whether by hit, walk or HBP. Tonight Gomes went 1 for 3 with two RBI off a double.
Tribe Time Tomorrow:
If you’re heading out under the Friday night lights of Progressive Field, be prepared to see another solid match up between these two Northeast American League ball clubs. Cleveland will put righty Trevor Bauer on the mound, who was originally scheduled to pitch before the Wednesday rainout in Boston. He will be pitching opposite southpaw Jaime Garcia for the pinstriped Yankees.