The View From Pluto: The Yankees Rout Shane Bieber, Indians in Game 1 Blowout Victory
The Cleveland Indians are on the brink of elimination from the playoffs after Tuesday's 12-3 lopsided loss to the New York Yankees in their Wild Card opener. WKSU's sports commentator Terry Pluto breaks down what went wrong for the Tribe in the first of a best-of-three series.
Bieber gets off to a rough start
Cleveland Indians Shane Bieber was no match for the Yankees, giving up a two-run homer to Aaron Judge in the first four pitches of the game. In total, the Indians ace allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings.
Bieber, the favorite to win the Cy Young, had an surprisingly rough time against the Yankees considering he only gave up three runs in 12 starts this season. So what went wrong?
"It was probably nerves. You don’t know how these guys are going to react to their first playoffs start, and that’s how they react. That’s how [Bieber] reacted," Pluto said. "You could see he was looking up at the sky. He was kicking the dirt on the mound. He was wondering what happened?"
Mistakes are amplified when playing the Yankees
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge set the tone early in the first inning, and New York remained aggressive throughout the rest of the game.
The team added on a run in the third and two in the fourth. By the time the fifth inning rolled around, the Indians gave up a two-run homer to Yankees second baseman and shortstop Gleyber Torres, who launched the Bieber fastball 412 feet to center, extending the lead to 7-2.
"[New York] hit five home runs in an inning this year...five homers in an inning. They could turn it around and just make it look like batting practice if your pitchers are off," Pluto said.
Surprise performance by Josh Naylor
Josh Naylor, who arrived in Cleveland after the team shipped Mike Clevinger off to the Padres in August, had quite a game, going four-for-four Tuesday.
"This guy hits a double. He hits another double. He hits a homer. He hit a single. Josh Naylor, who most fans probably never heard of, decides this is his moment," Pluto said. "They need a couple of Josh Naylors tonight."
Pluto said Naylor struggled in the regular season, looking nervous in the months following his departure from San Diego. However, this wasn't the case last night.
"He looked like he was made for the playoffs," Pluto said.
All eyes are on Carrasco in Game 2
Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco will get the starting nod Wednesday, in a Game 2 that's do-or-die for the Tribe.
"It’s a one game season with Carlos Carrasco on the mound. He fits extremely well," Pluto said. "So there’s some hope there."
Carrasco, who returned to the team in September 2019 after battling leukemia, is one of the most amazing comeback stories, Pluto said.
"This would be one of the coolest things if Carrasco could go out there and beat the Yankees and force a third game Thursday night," he said.
Game 2 of the series is set to take place Wednesday at 7:08 p.m.