2017 ALDS: 5 reasons the Cleveland Indians won Game 1

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 05: Francisco Lindor
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 05: Francisco Lindor /

The Cleveland Indians took a 1-0 lead on the New York Yankees in 2017 ALDS thanks to the play of Jay Bruce, who was almost a Yankee!

1. How must it feel to be Paul Dolan this morning? Not many people have the luxury of shelling out $3.7 million to pay a ballplayer for two months of service.

But Dolan antied up, and that secured Jay Bruce for the Tribe before the waiver trade deadline.

The Yankees wanted Bruce too, but were unwilling to pay the remainder of his salary for the season. According to the Fox Sports 1 broadcast, New York was only willing to pick up $1 million of Bruce’s contract.

Dolan to Hal Steinbrenner: Hold my beer.

With a game changing, two-run homer in the fourth, Bruce earned every cent of that $3.7 million. HIs contract his paid for, and Dolan probably couldn’t be happier.

Bruce also doubled. He drove in three runs on the night.

2. Trevor Bauer just won a postseason game and looked devastatingly good in the process.

Some Tribe faithful, including myself, were a tad skeptical to see Terry Francona skip Corey Kluber in Game 1.

But Tito delivered, as his aced hurled 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball, while striking out eight.

Perhaps Bauer has finally matured into the starting pitcher Arizona thought he could be when the Diamondbacks made him the No. 3 overall pick of the 2011 draft.

3. Aaron Judge went 0-4 for four strikeouts. It’s easy to beat up this MVP candidate for such a stat line, but this is the type of player Judge is. He’s either going to boom or bust, and he struggled in his first postseason contest.

Judge struck out 208 times during the regular season, and the Yankees are fine with that, because he still hit 52 bombs, drew 127 walks and hit .284. Judge had a .627 slugging percentage, meaning if he makes contact, he’s usually going for extra bases.

Judge loves to swing it, and the Indians possess pitchers who can rack up the strikeouts. It’s a good recipe against a player like Judge, and it worked in Game 1.

4. Wow, Jason Kipnis can play center field.

The JK Kid’s catch was huge. The Indians had just taken the lead and it would’ve been crushing to let New York right back into the ball game.

With that said, I’ve got no problem with Tito putting in Greg Allen late in the game as a defensive replacement.

5. Sonny Gray didn’t have it, and Bruce made him pay. The Yankees starter lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He pitched in and out of trouble, allowing four walks and a wild pitch.

It could’ve been worse for Gray, but the Vanderbilt product pitched brilliantly out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second.

He got Roberto Hernandez to ground into a double play, and while the play scored a run, it deflated the Indians offense for the inning.

Take Jay Bruce out of the lineup, and Indians batters were 3-of-24.

Next: Impact on city of Cleveland if Indians win the World Series

Other thoughts…Dellin Betances throws 100 mph too effortsely,..Andrew Miller didn’t look sharp, and was missing the zone by a lot…Sandy Alomar threw out the first pitch and it was awesome.