TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during photo day on February 20, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Gerrit Cole stole all of Shane Bieber’s thunder as the New York Yankees dominated the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

Wherever the dominant New York Yankees bats were, they showed up in spades on Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Aaron Judge‘s first home run since coming off the injured list and Gleyber Torres‘ four-hit night carried a dominant outing by Gerrit Cole as the Yankees rolled to a 12-3 win.


Starting on the mound for the Cleveland Indians was Shane Bieber, who went 8-1 this year and led the majors with a 1.63 ERA. He ran into trouble early after Judge took his fastball to right-center, giving New York an early 2-0 lead.

It all went downhill for Bieber from there. Luke Voit made it 3-0 with a double in the third, and the Yankees led 5-2 by the fifth inning. Gleyber Torres then stepped up with two outs and Gio Urshela on first base. Six pitches later, Bieber’s fastball to him made it 7-2.

Torres later added two more hits, including an RBI single, and the Yankees also received two insurance home runs from Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton.

Bieber, who’s the American League Cy Young favorite and also an MVP candidate, lasted just 4.2 innings. His seven strikeouts were overshadowed by seven allowed runs on nine hits.

Cole, on the other hand, performed as advertised. The big righty scattered six hits over seven innings, striking out 13 Cleveland hitters. Save for an RBI double to Jose Ramirez and a long home run to Josh Naylor, he was in full ace form.

Luis Cessa pitched the final two innings as the Indians added a run in garbage time. Regardless, this game 100% belonged to the Yankees. After finishing 2-6 with weak at-bats across the board, the Yankees were disciplined as can be tonight.

New York drew three walks and scored 12 runs on 15 hits, nine of which came against Bieber, who led the majors with a 14.2 K/9 in 2020. Exactly half of the team’s runs were scored with two outs, and the Yankees were 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

In short, the Yankees needed to steal a win. They did just that, and now the Indians can’t rely on Bieber to bounce back later in the series.

Tribe Notes

The Indians’ sole bright spot was Naylor, who recorded four hits in his inaugural major league postseason game. The 23-year-old was acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Mike Clevinger trade last month. Tonight, he became the first rookie with three extra-base hits in a postseason debut.

Looking to Game 2

In Game 2, the Yankees will give the ball to veteran Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.56), who owns a career 1.76 ERA in the playoffs. Looking to even the series, Cleveland will trust righty Carlos Carrasco (3-4, 2.91) on the mound.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.