The Indians and Blue Jays squared away in Game 1 of the ALCS Friday night in Cleveland. After the two teams respectively averaged six runs (Toronto) and five runs (Cleveland) per game during their respective ALDS sweep, it was all about the pitching Friday night.
Corey Kluber and Marco Estrada dueled pitch for pitch back and forth all night long. After dancing out of danger in the first, Kluber settled down and held the dangerous Blue Jays lineup to only six hits over 6-1/3 shutout innings, while striking out six. Andrew Miller came in in the seventh, and retired five of thesis batter he faced by strike out, and allowed only one hit. After struggling against the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS, Cody Allen came in and was able to shut the doors securing a one, two, three, scoreless ninth inning.
Marco Estrada was dominant for the Blue Jays all night long, aside from one huge mistake. Estrada battled through eight innings of two run ball, allowing six hits, one of which was a home run, and striking out six.
The Indians offense wasn’t able to get much going against Estrada. Carlos Santana led off the game with a base hit but was left on base, from that point on runners left on base seemed to be the theme of the night. The Indians left a total of eight men on base. Lonnie Chisenhall got the start against the righty, and picked up three hits. The big blow came in the bottom of the sixth when Francisco Lindor hit a two run home run to put the Indians ahead for good.
For the Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and Michael Saunders picked up two hits a piece. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki picked up a hit of his own. Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis was forced to leave the game early with a knee injury, he was replaced by Ryan Goins. Travis has since been removed from the postseason roster, and has been replaced by Justin Smoak.
Josh Tomlin and J.A. Happ square off in Game 2 this afternoon at 4:00.