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The View from Pluto: Francona is Vindicated as Indians Beat Yankees 4-0

Indians manager Terry Francona made a couple controversial changes to last night's starting lineup. They paid off.

Nothing could go wrong for the Cleveland Indians last night. They beat the New York Yankees 4-0 in game one of the American League Division Series.

Indians manager Terry Francona took a gamble, going with starting pitcher Trevor Bauer instead of ace Corey Kluber. It paid off, but many people questioned whether that was the right move.

“I did too,” said WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto. “Kluber is clearly the best pitcher in the American League. But the Indians had a bunch of reasons they went with Bauer, and all of them fell into place.”

Now, with a first game victory out of the way, Pluto thinks that puts the Indians in a great position with Kluber pitching tonight.

“In terms of getting all the good baseball karma lined up in game one, it sure happened,” Pluto said.

Two Cy Young winners face off
Former Indians star pitcher C. C. Sabathia, who came to Cleveland in 2001 as a 20-year-old, will start tonight for the Yankees. Pluto remembers seeing both Sabathia and Kluber play when they were young and struggling.

“He’s not so young anymore, but he’s still got quite a bit left in the tank,” Pluto said. “I’ll be fascinated to watch how he throws and how the Indians will handle it.”

Francona also got some criticism for moving Jason Kipnis from second base to center field. Yet Bauer said after the game that Kipnis’ spectacular diving catch last night set the tone for the rest of the game.

“The manager is feeling really good about things, and so are the fans,” Pluto said.

The Indians take on the Yankees today for game two at 5 p.m. at Progressive Field.

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