CLEVELAND - Trevor Bauer made Aaron Judge look silly, and made his manager look like a genius.
Are the host Cleveland Indians going to post a victory when they open their five-game ALDS series versus the New York Yankees Thursday night? He stuck around. The 2016 season marked the first time Bauer was on the same team - and around numerous same teammates - for more than three seasons.
Entering the game, many questioned whether Indians manager Terry Francona was making a mistake by waiting to start his ace, Corey Kluber, until Game 2 of the ALDS. Yankees' Chad Green was called upon to relieve Severino in the first inning.
"I'm so proud to be a part of it", said Brantley, who batted.299 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs in 90 games, missing close to two months with a right ankle injury that put his postseason status in jeopardy.
NY will counter with Sonny Gray, acquired at the July 31 trade deadline to help get NY into October.
So confident that they decided that it was a good time to taunt their opponent, the AL's top dog in the Cleveland Indians.
All of that aside, Francona is playing the long game with this move. "He had his life on his fastball".
"I know a year ago when LeBron kind of grabbed the microphone, I think everybody got a kick out of that".
Bauer stopped the Bronx Bombers in their tracks. "And tonight was a good night for us". So we'll have someone over there who's really good defensively.
Taking the mound to his usual thundering warm-up music, "The Pursuit of Vikings", an intimidating song by Swedish metal band Amon Amarth, Bauer didn't mess around. However, Bauer got Sanchez to roll over on a first-pitch curve ball, and third baseman Giovanny Urshela responded by initiating a 5-4-3 double play. "They're a team that can get very hot".
"You just try to go out and perform well". "I've thrown against them a couple times this year, and in the past I've thrown against them". And the Yankees have the best plan for when the plan falls apart.
After a leadoff walk to Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth, Bruce put a short swing on an 0-and-1 fastball and launched it over the right field wall - an estimated 371 feet - for a 3-0 Cleveland lead.
When he got hurt in August, Brantley - and the Indians - feared he might be through for 2017.
James was a longtime Yankees fan before allegedly switching his allegiance to the Indians. The other thing that the Yankees did in the Wild Card game?
"It will be curious to see how Bauer reacts in that", Pluto said.
"I feel pretty well prepared, physically and mentally", Bruce said.
Want to watch the game? By this time next week, it will be down to the final two in the both leagues and once again the odds to win the 2017 World Series will shift.
The decision to go with Bauer over Kluber - or even ahead of scheduled Game 3 starter Carlos Carrasco - is curious on a number of levels. "It's about us winning three games before they do". By then the Indians led, 4-0, and Francona looked like a baseball genius, just as he did last October.
James wore a red, hooded sweat shirt and waved to the crowd when he was shown on the scoreboard.