Despite the blowout loss to the New York Yankees, Josh Naylor joins some iconic Cleveland Indians in his playoff debut.
When you can say you had a game as good as Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Juan Gonzales, and Vic Wertz, you’re in a special company. That’s what current Cleveland Indians outfielder Josh Naylor gets to say on Wednesday morning after he went 4-4 at the plate in the Tribe’s game one loss to the Yankees.
While many modern Indians fans will know who Ramirez, Vizquel, and Gonzales are, Wertz was a four-time All-Star during stints with the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, and Cleveland Indians. He played four seasons with the Indians, and when healthy he was healthy during his tenure with the Tribe twice hit 100 RBI’s. Arguably as talented as anyone on this list, Wertz was plagued with injuries, hence why so many people probably don’t know who he is.
For Naylor to join such Tribe legends is a true testament to how good he can actually become. Naylor is still only 23-years-old and is still discovering how to play against Major League pitching. Something that’ll hopefully become easier the more at-bats he gets against top-flight talent.
For the Indians though, this was the only highlight from their Game 1 stomping by the Yankees. AL Cy Young lock Shane Bieber got lit up and potential AL Manager of the Year Sandy Alomar left Bieber in the game too long and gave up far more runs than needed.
The offense wasn’t much better but Naylor and AL MVP front runner Jose Ramirez did deliver, but it wasn’t enough as the Indians fell 12-3 to the Yankees. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole handled the Indians lineup pretty well all night and the Indians find themselves down 0-1 in a three-game series.
The Indians need to win two-straight if they’re going to beat the Yankees and advance to the second round.