Indians vs. Yankees, Shane Bieber vs. Gerrit Cole, Good Vs. Evil

What an absolute atomic bomb of a first game matchup. Actually, that's too small for tonight. This is more like a hydrogen bomb or whatever new technology we've developed to blow up the entire world. Because at 7:08 eastern time this evening, we have the highest paid pitcher in baseball history going against the soon to be Cy Young and should be AL MVP. A man who joined the Yankees Death Star and sold his soul for the dollars against a man who went from unknown #5 starter to most dominant pitcher in the game. The team that developed Frankie Lindor against the team that plans to steal him. The highest payroll in the sport against a small market team with a bunch of players that need to win now before we have to watch them walk. This is more than baseball. This truly is Good vs. Evil. And we get it on night 1 of the MLB playoffs.

 I know this season started off slow due to corona, but this has certainly been worth the wait. The NBA bubble has been a joke, and I honestly forgot the NHL was still going on until I saw the blogs last night, but baseball has felt real to me. And now we've got the Cleveland Indians vs. the New York Yankees in round 1, IN CLEVELAND.

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Listen, I know that leading up to the playoffs, I said I'd rather avoid the Yankees if possible, but looking at the bracket, there's not one place I'd rather be. If we can get through this series…..not even this series…..just THIS GAME, then I am 100% confident that the Indians will be making a deep postseason run. I don't want to look ahead and start talking Blue Jays and Rays yet, but my goodness, just let us get there. And to get there, we need to get through tonight first. In a 3 game series, winning game one is absoulutely monumental. And when you're throwing your Cy Young pitcher in Game 1, you have to win. Especially when your hitting has been nothing short of disastrous for most of the year. 

I know the Indians have finished hot winning 9 of their last 11, but part of me is super nervous for tonight. I know what Bieber is going to give us, but what is our hitting going to do against Gerrit Cole? Like, can Bieber give up two runs? Or is that too much for us tonight? We finished 23rd in batting, 24th in runs scored, and 4th from the bottom in OPS. And Gerrit Cole absolutely dominated us last time we saw him in the postseason with the Astros. I don't know. I think we're the better and hotter team, but the last time we were in the playoffs left such a sour taste in my mouth with our hitting, paired with the atrocious hitting we've seen this year, and I'd say I'm nervous. 

And from the looks of it, Vegas says I have every reason to be. Both teams are sitting at -105 right now, which is flat out bananas when you think that the home team has the Cy Young winner on the hill. And we're not even favorites. What's even more bananas is the over/under. 6.5 runs. And you're a crazy person to take the over!!! This game has 2-1 written all over it…..I just hope we're on the right side. I think the winner of tonight's game wins the series, which is why I want to see all the stops pulled out tonight. And when I say all, I mean ALL the stops. Playing small ball is one thing, but if we need to release the midges on their relief pitchers again, let the bugs fly baby. 

All I'm saying is that if the fans can't be there tonight, the midges should be allowed to give us a home field advantage. It's only fair. Because honestly, it absolutely blows that the Tribe is playing downtown tonight and not one person can be in the stands. The no fans at games really hasn't hit me until now. There's nothing I want more on this entire Earth than to be at the Thirsty Parrot at about 4:00 this afternoon, pregaming with $3 tall boys until tonight's 7:08 first pitch.

Which brings me to my next point: I hate the Yankees, but thank you to them for finally allowing us to play in a primetime series. The Cleveland Indians postseason has had afternoon games written all over it for year, but because we're playing the Yankees, look who finally gets to come home from work and then meet up at the bar to watch it. So Yankees, I thank you. And that's where my appreciation for you ends, along with the rest of the country. Outside those slimy, sleazy, greasy Yankees fans, the rest of America is cheering for Cleveland tonight.  Even America's most unbiased baseball writer has joined the train.

Welcome aboard, Jared. It's Tribe Time Now.

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