There are many reasons for the Yankees to learn about Tribe’s loss, but one stands out – Terry Pluto


Cleveland, Ohio – There will be a lot of ironic analysis by the Indians of being eliminated from the Wild Card playoffs in two games.

Fingers of blame will be pointed in many directions that some of us can use our toes to point to a criminal.

But stands out like a sore throat.

Consider that the tribe opened the series at their home park on the mound with potential young player award winner Shane Beebe.

The Indians had the American League lead pitcher rested and primed for the Yankees.

On four pitches in his first playoff game, Bieber gave up two runs. He struggled with 4 2/3 innings, firing for seven runs.

Other things went wrong that Yankee lost 12–3, but it started with Bieber.

Now consider the final innings of Game 2.

The Indians had a 9-8 lead in the ninth inning.

On the mound was All-Star Brad Hand. He was saving 16-to-16 situations this season.

Unlike Bieber, the hand was not hard. A pair of ground for singles in between. There was a high chop which fell from the hand.

But in the end, Hand gave up two runs, a 9–8 lead to a 10–9 loss.

No pitch doesn’t win

Here’s my point, at least when it comes to the pitching staff: The series began with the untouchable Bieber opening and ending with a reliable hand to keep the Indians alive in the best-of-3 series.

Both were unsuccessful.

In fact, Tribe’s pitching was a disaster.

The team had an 11.00 ERA in two matches against the Yankees, with baseball’s best pitching in the regular season. He scored 15 runs in 18 innings. He served seven homers.

There are other areas for the Indians to criticize, but the fact that he blew it, and it was his biggest regular-season strength was a glaring weakness.

Carlos Carrasco received a raw deal with a rain delay made by MLB. In the top of the fourth, Delino Deshields probably should have caught what turned out to be a triple at center by New York’s Eric Hicks.

But Carrasco then hit the next two wheels to load the bases. His night ended after three innings.

Traitor James Karinchak back then was a melodown, awarding a grand slam to former Indian Gio Urshela.

Karinchak allowed only one homer in the regular season.

This was the first postseason for Bieber and Karinchak. Same for rookie Tristan McKenzie, who gave up two runs in his 1 1/3 innings.

Build other factories

None of this excuses Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Franmil Reyes.

He combined for a disappointing 1-23 performance at the plate.

This was the first postseason for Reyes, so it is a factor.

But Santana and Lindor played in the 2016 World Series squad. He also accompanied the tribe in the 2017 and 2018 playoffs.

And they were terrible.

Lindor’s only hit was a double. But he is seen losing many of his eight batsmen, fanning three times. In his final 60 matches of the regular season, he batted .188

The All-Star shortstop was distracted and shaken at the plate.

As a Santa, he was 0-for-8 with three strikes. Looking lost It seemed that when he batted, he did the most in the regular season. It is like the 2019 All-Star either grew old at the age of 34 or forgot how to hit.

The Indians scored three runs in the opener. Probably not enough to win, but three runs were usually held close with Beeb on the mound.

In Game 2, they kept coming back. He scored nine runs. Josh Noiler and Jordan Luplow had some big hits.

We can talk later on what all this means for Indians in 2021 in terms of trade and budget.

Bottom line for the playoffs: The pitching collapsed when the Indian needed it the most.

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