There would be no unbelievable comeback tonight and the New York Yankees are still alive.
The Indians had a chance to bury the Yankees and end their season. Instead, they turned in a mostly listless performance against Masahiro Tanaka (7 INN/3 H/7 SO/1 BB); flailing away at splitter after splitter, seemingly oblivious that the lineup was playing right into the hurler’s hands. Very few adjustments were made offensively and in the end, the series lives on for another day tomorrow at 7 PM eastern.
The Indians got the breaks on Thursday, so it would seem that the Baseball Deities, existing strictly to level the playing field from time to time, made sure the Yankees got their share tonight. From the total lack of offensive discipline from the Indians when they had to know what was coming, to Tanaka wiggling off the hook in the fourth inning with Jason Kipnis at third with one out in the fourth inning, to Francisco Lindor being robbed of a two-run homer by the 6’7″ man-child behemoth, Aaron Judge, who just reached up to snatch away what may have been the game winning hit for the Indians. Had he been an inch or two shorter, well, y’know…
No one will blame Carlos Carrasco (5.2 INN/3 H/7 SO/3 BB), as he did what he typically does to the Yankees. Unfortunately, it was Andrew Miller made the lone mistake of the night, leaving a center-cut fastball for Greg Bird to make like his namesake and send the ball flying into the second deck in right field.
They made some noise in the ninth inning, which may have allowed Tribe fans’ minds conjured some new possible highlights against Aroldis Chapman. They had the tying run at second in Kipnis and the go-ahead run in Jose Ramirez at first. But Jay Bruce continued his worst night since coming over from the Mets. He swung at ball three and ball four, and then Carlos Santana flew harmlessly out to center. Deep enough to score Kipnis if given the chance, but Bruce just couldn’t help himself.
Pretty disappointing night all around from a lineup that was probably trying way too hard and it bit them tonight. Hopefully, their focus returns tomorrow night in Game Four. Can’t let this Yankee team get much further up from the mat.
W: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0); Andrew Miller (0-1); S: Aroldis Chapman (1)