"Look what we did past year with maybe 1 ½ starting pitchers".
Obviously, all of those regular-season wins are for naught if a team can't advance past the divisional round.
If the Diamondbacks win, it would be the highest win total in a divisional series since 2002, when the total was an astounding 790.
- The Cleveland Indians are done marveling at their record-setting season, focused instead on avenging their dramatic extra innings Game Seven loss in last year's World Series and snapping Major League Baseball's longest title drought. Since July 27, Bauer has appeared in 13 games (12 starts).
Here's the reason the Indians aren't starting Kluber in Game 1.
To find a team that lost the World Series back-to-back and then finally came up a victor, you have to go back nearly 100 years.
Indians over Nationals in seven: The Indians proved themselves capable of going one step further than a year ago by not only weaving together a record-setting 22-game winning streak, but then following that with a season-ending 11-3 run.
The Yankees acquired Gray in a trade from the Oakland Athletics on July 31.
With Kluber starting Game 2 on Friday, it feels like the Yankees are already in deep trouble.
The young pitcher who was given up on by the Arizona Diamondbacks had himself an fantastic night, going 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out eight batters and allowing just two hits. And it's not like the Indians are all pitch, no hit: Cleveland was third in the AL in runs (818), second in batting average (.263) and second in OPS (.788).
At home, which on July 14 was still the spacious Oakland Colosseum, Gray blanked the Indians over six two-hit innings. The Twins called in starter Jose Berrios, who could have been named the starter of this game, yet ended up taking the mound after Santana was pulled following the second inning. Gary Sanchez finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run. David Robertson picked up the win as he threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, giving up three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Gray has only appeared in the playoffs in 2013 with Oakland. Let's preview their American League Division Series against the Yankees.
"I don't know if you'll see a 50-pitch outing, " Francona said. In his career, Bauer is 3-4 with a 4.28 ERA and 36 strikeouts against the Yankees.
"He's been one of the better pitchers in the league", Francona said.
If the Indians win: They'll be sitting pretty with Kluber going in Game 2. He went 5-0 with a 0.84 ERA in six September starts.
Sale did not face the Astros during the regular season. He went 11-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 road starts.
Cleveland has been on a mission ever since falling just short in 2016, losing a heartbreaking Game 7 at home to the Chicago Cubs. He pitched 34 innings and gave up just four earned runs for a 1.06 ERA.
Latham native Tommy Kahnle went 2 ⅓ without allowing a hit. The Red Sox and Yankees both return to the postseason in the same year.
Francona also said the game wasn't too big for Bruce because of his previous postseason experience. Verlander has made 16 starts and is 7-5 with a 3.39 ERA in playoff action.