The Indians will take on the New York Yankees in their first playoff series beginning Thursday night at Progressive Field. New York won the wildcard game last night against the Minnesota Twins.
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says one of the more interesting things to come out of yesterday was the decision by Indians manager Terry Francona to start pitcher Trevor Bauer in game one tomorrow, instead of ace Corey Kluber.
“It will be curious to see how Bauer reacts in that,” Pluto said. “Last year, he was iffy in a couple playoff starts.”
Game 1 is key
There’s a lot riding on that first game.
“The team that wins the first game in a five-game series wins something like 75 percent of the time for the whole series,” Pluto said.
The Indians came out of the regular season with 102 wins and haven’t had two consecutive losses since August.
“Once in a while, when a team has a sensational regular season, they have this sense like, ‘We can’t blip it now. We’ve been so good for six months,’” Pluto said.
Does the Indians’ regular season performance matter now in the playoffs?
“It gives you the home field, but no, it doesn’t,” Pluto said.
Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton told Pluto it’s kind of like March Madness.
“Suddenly, you could have a couple of bad days and it’s over,” Pluto said.
The Yankees are a great team, according to Pluto, though “they weren’t supposed to be quite as good this year as in the past. They’re a team that can get very hot.”
Pluto would’ve rather seen the Indians play the Twins than the Yankees, but he said the Indians are clearly the better team.
“When the Indians finally win another world series, you can be sure it won’t be easy.”