CLEVELAND, Ohio – There will be many distressing analyzes of Indians knocked out of the Wild Card playoffs in two games by the Yankees.
The fingers of guilt will be pointed in so many directions that some of us may end up using our toes to point to a culprit.
But one stands out like a sore thumb.
Consider that Tribe opened the series with likely Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber on the mound in his home park.
The Indians rested the first American League pitcher and prepared for the Yankees.
Four shots in his first playoff game, Bieber had conceded two points. He staggered for 4 2/3 innings, shelled for seven runs.
Other things went wrong in that initial 1
Let us now consider the final inning of game 2.
The Indians had a 9-8 lead in the ninth inning.
All-Star Brad Hand was on the mound. He was 16 out of 16 in rescue situations this season.
Unlike Bieber, Hand wasn’t hit hard. A couple of balls in the middle for singles. There was a high blow that Hand dropped.
But in the end, Hand gave up two runs, the 9-8 lead becoming a 10-9 defeat.
DON’T THROW, DON’T WIN
Here’s my point, at least when it comes to the pitching staff: The series opened with the seemingly untouchable Bieber departing and ended with the reliable Hand in position to keep the Indians alive in the best-of-series series. 3.
Indeed, the tribe’s launch was a disaster.
The team with the best baseball pitch in the regular season had an ERA of 11.00 in two games against the Yankees. They walked 15 in 18 innings. They served seven homers.
There are other areas to criticize the Indians, but the fact is, they blew it all up, and it was their biggest strength of the regular season which was the obvious weakness.
Carlos Carrasco received a crude deal with MLB badly handled rain-caused delays. At the top of the fourth, Delino DeShields probably should have taken what became a triple at the center of Aaron Hicks of New York.
But Carrasco then walked over the next two hitters to load the bases. This ended his night after three innings.
Then rookie James Karinchak collapsed, serving a grand slam to former Indian Gio Urshela.
Karinchak had conceded only one homer in the regular season.
It was the first post-season season for Bieber and Karinchak. Same for rookie Triston McKenzie, who allowed two runs in his 1 1/3 inning.
OTHER MATURED FACTORS
None of this to excuse Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Franmil Reyes.
They combined for a sad 1 in 23 pot performance.
This was the first season after Reyes, so that’s a factor.
But Santana and Lindor played on the 2016 World Series squad. They were also with the Tribe in the 2017 and 2018 playoffs.
And they were awful.
Lindor had the only success, a double. But he seemed lost in several of his eight bats, fanned three times. In his last 60 regular season appearances, he beat .188
The All-Star shortstop looked distracted and shaken at the plate.
As for Santana, she was 0 in 8 with three strikeouts. He looked lost. It looked like he made the most of the regular season when he hit .199. It’s as if the 2019 All-Star has aged alarmingly at the age of 34 or forgotten how to strike.
The Indians scored three points in the opening. Probably not enough to win, but three runs usually kept things close with Bieber on the mound.
In game 2, they kept coming back. They scored nine points. Josh Naylor and Jordan Luplow have had some great successes.
We can talk later about what all this means for Indians in 2021 in terms of trades and budgets.
Conclusion for the playoffs: The reason was that the launch collapsed when the Indians needed it most.
RECENT COLUMNS OF PLUTO IN TERRY
Does John Dorsey deserve at least some credit?
Cleveland Browns Post Game Doodling
There’s Hunt. There’s Chubb. And how about some defense too! Browns wins!
Terry Talkin ‘Browns: Andrew Berry’s plan, Kevin Stefanski’s challenge
Hoping the Indians have a long post-season run, I can’t believe the regular season is over
Big step forward for Browns, will they make it?
Underdogs & Underappreciated, the Tribe makes the playoffs
Hey Terry, what about the Browns, the salary cap, the defense?
Browns after the game scribbles after a fun win
Offensive line gambling pays off
New Indian Face Masks For Sale: This is where you can purchase Cleveland Indians themed face covers for coronavirus protection, including a single face mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All proceeds from the MLB were donated to charity.