Yankees have the right formula to beat the Indians in October

From ESPN - September 13, 2017

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees could beat the Cleveland Indians in the playoffs. The last few days, including in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed the method he will attempt to use, if given the chance, to take out Cleveland.

It might be viewed as new line of thinking, but, really, it dates back at least to the start of the last Yankees dynasty. The Indians just borrowed the formula last fall, with an assist from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman turned the Indians into the most fearsome team in the American League when he traded lights out reliever Andrew Miller for a young haul of prospects 14 months ago. It worked out as the Indians deployed Miller like he was a lefty version of the mid-1990s Mariano Rivera; using Miller multiple innings as a nearly unstoppable bullpen weapon and falling just short of a World Series title.

It's now a year later and, in the next month, the Yankees could be the team that ruins what has turned into a dream season for the Tribe with the old Mo formula. It might be 21 straight wins and counting for Cleveland, but once October begins, everyone is 0-0.

The Yankees will make the playoffs, most likely as a wild-card team. If they take care of the Minnesota Twins next week in the Bronx, the Yanks will likely make it inevitable that they will have home field in the wild-card shootout.

The wild-card game is like a Game 7 -- anything can happen. But if the Yankees make it to the Division Series against the Indians, they have two standouts to handle the Mo/Miller role.

With off days after every two games, Girardi will turn to David Robertson and the emerging Chad Green for multiple innings in the middle of games so they can hand the ball to Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman late. In essence, even if the Yankees have to use ace Luis Severino to get past the wild-card game, they'd have a chance against the Indians because, although they'd be weaker to start games, they could go mano-a-mano in the middle and late innings. The days off allow the relievers to be used often.

The Yankees series against the Rays is a perfect example of how Girardi will go about his postseason business. The Yankees won two of the three games and, in each, it was Robertson and Green serving as the bridge to the end of the game.


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