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2:08 PM PT3:08 PM MT4:08 PM CT5:08 PM ET17:08 ET21:08 GMT5:08 2:08 PM MST4:08 PM EST4:38 PM VEN1:08 UAE (+1)4:08 PM CT, October 6, 2017
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 37,681

Indians ace Kluber faces Yanks, Sabathia in Game 2

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians

  1. Trevor Bauer and two relievers combined for a three-hit shutout of the Yankees in Game 1 Thursday. It was the Indians' sixth shutout win in the postseason since the start of the 2016 playoffs; all other teams have combined for five shutouts in the postseason over that same span.
  2. The Yankees have a 5-1 series record all-time when losing Game 1 of the ALDS, with the lone loss coming in 2007 versus the Indians (3-1). They weren't shut out in their last 50 games played before yesterday's 4-0 setback.
  3. Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Game 1. While he led the majors with 208 strikeouts in the regular season, he had just one game of four or more (out of 155 played; May 21 at Tampa Bay).
  4. CC Sabathia will be making his 19th career postseason start, tying Jon Lester for second most among active pitchers (John Lackey, 23). Sabathia is 9-5 with a 4.53 ERA in the postseason, including one relief appearance. Over his last eight starts of the 2017 regular season, he went 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA.
  5. Jay Bruce drove in three of the Indians' four runs in Game 1, with a two-run home run and sacrifice fly. It was his third career postseason homer, and first since Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS against San Francisco (with the Reds).
  6. Corey Kluber is the leading candidate to win AL Cy Young honors after leading the majors in wins (18, tied with three others) and ERA (2.25). In his last five starts against the Yankees (two in 2017), Kluber is 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA, 44 strikeouts and four walks.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 10/6/2017 thru 10/6/2017
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- CLEVELAND -- The pitching matchup for Game 2 of the American League Division series between the New York Yankees and Cleveland on Friday will feature two of the last three Indians pitchers to win the Cy Young Award: CC Sabathia (2007) and Corey Kluber (2014).

Cleveland manager Terry Francona's decision to start Kluber in Game 2 of the ALDS instead of Game 1 raised some eyebrows, but it couldn't have worked out better. Trevor Bauer pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings to anchor a 4-0 Indians victory in Game 1.

That allows Cleveland the chance to use its ace in Game 2. For his part, Kluber (18-4, 2.25 ERA) said he was comfortable with the decision, which he learned of during a meeting with Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway.

"They gave their ideas for it and why they had their ideas for it, and I didn't have a problem with it," Kluber said. "To me, it's not about me wanting to pitch the first game or wanting to pitch the second game. It's about us winning three games before they do. Whichever way that happens, and if it happens and we advance, it doesn't matter who pitches when, in my mind."

Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) has had a career resurgence this year at age 36. He will be facing the Indians for the first time since Aug. 6, 2016, when he was the losing pitcher in a 5-2 decision. In that game, Sabathia pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and four walks.

In 11 career starts against his former team, Sabathia is 4-3 with a 3.65 ERA.

Asked if he was surprised by Sabathia's late-career surge, Francona said: "Not at all. He's such a good athlete, and I don't think people give him credit for that. I know his knees hurt at times and they're a little creaky, but, no, he's a really good athlete and he can manipulate the ball. So it's not surprising at all."

Sabathia is a battle-tested postseason pitcher. He is 9-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 19 postseason games (18 starts).

"It's a good lineup," Sabathia said of the Indians. "Top to bottom, they do everything. They run. They've got power. They make you throw a lot of pitches. It's going to be tough to face them, but I'll just try to be aggressive like I always do in the strike zone, and try to get them to mis-hit some balls."

Kluber could be on the verge of winning his second Cy Young Award. In 2017, he led the AL or was tied for the league lead in wins, complete games (five), shutouts (three), ERA, WHIP (0.87), hits per nine innings (6.23), walks per nine innings (1.59) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.36).

In six career postseason starts, all last year, Kluber is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA. That includes his start against the Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series. It was Kluber's third straight start on short rest, and he was out of gas, giving up four runs in four innings.

Kluber was 4-0 with an 0.89 ERA in his other five postseason starts.

In two starts against the Yankees this year, Kluber was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. In six career starts against New York, he is 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA.

Yankees pitchers will be throwing to catcher Gary Sanchez, whose defense has been criticized this year, but manager Joe Girardi is happy with the progress Sanchez has made behind the plate.

"He continues to work on his defense, and I'm really proud of what he's done, the improvements that he's made, and he's only going to get better," Girardi said.

Updated October 6, 2017

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