Thursday, October 5, 2017
The first day Sonny Gray stepped into the Yankees’ clubhouse, he could feel it. The expectation of getting to the postseason with this group and the right-hander being an important part of it.
“My first day in New York, I got that vibe,” said Gray, who was tabbed on Wednesday to get the ball for Game 1 of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan tonight at Progressive Field. “And now, we’re here, and we’re ready to go.”
Gray, the Yankees’ big acquisition at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, will square off against Tribe righty Trevor Bauer in the opener of the best-of-five set.
Yanks left-hander CC Sabathia will start Game 2 against Tribe ace Corey Kluber. Masahiro Tanaka will pitch Game 3 in New York against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the plan is for AL Wild Card Game starter Luis Severino to pitch Game 4, if necessary.
It really seems like Girardi has just decided that he has more faith in CC against the Indians than Severino. I think he’s off base there, but I will say that A. CC has been pitching well and B. CC obviously has an excellent history in the postseason (remember how nails he was in 2012?), so I guess I can understand the temptation. I would have still pitched Severino in Game 2, but whatever.
Tanaka in Game 3 makes sense, as he pitches a lot better at Yankee Stadium for whatever reason. Severino in Game 4 (if necessary) is interesting, as it means that either Gray or CC could pitch Game 5, depending on how they do in Games 1 and 2.
I like Sonny Gray a lot, but he sure isn’t the sort of dominant pitcher you’d like to have pitching Game 1. Of course, if Bauer continues to pitch as how he has pitched against the Yankees this season, Jaime Garcia could be the opposing starter, for all the difference that it would make.
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