Shane Bieber will win the 2020 American League Cy Young Award, and deservedly so. The right-hander put together a ridiculous 1.63 ERA, struck out 14.20 batters per nine innings, and was far and away the leader in FanGraphs’ AL pitching WAR at 3.2. He was without question the best pitcher in the AL.

So, that says a lot about how impressive the New York Yankees’ performance was in Game 1 of their Wild Card Series against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. Bieber definitely didn’t have his typical stuff, but few offenses would do near the damage that the Yankees did.

New York won 12-3, with seven of those runs coming in the first five innings against Bieber. He allowed a two-run homer to Aaron Judge on the fourth pitch of the game.

And his night ended on this two-run blast from Gleyber Torres in the top of the fifth.

Bieber’s final line: 4 2/3 innings pitched, nine hits, seven runs (all earned), two walks, and seven strikeouts. This season, he hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start. He hadn’t allowed at least five earned runs in a start since July 19, 2019. He only allowed seven earned runs one other time, and that was as a rookie on July 24, 2018.

But this is a Yankees lineup that is finally healthy, and they’re a juggernaut at full strength. Judge only played in 28 games this season due to injury. Torres only played in 42 games due to injury. Giancarlo Stanton only played in 23 games this year due to injury (and only played in 18 games last season), and he also crushed a dinger in Game 1.

These guys are all healthy now, joining hitters like DJ LeMahieu (the AL leader in batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS), and Luke Voit (MLB’s home run leader with 22) to form a fully operational Death Star lineup.

Additionally, the Yankees have an ace in Gerrit Cole who had a 1.72 ERA in 36 2/3 innings last postseason for the Houston Astros. He looked like that kind of pitcher in Game 1, allowing two earned runs over seven innings, with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

Despite being the five-seed and having to go on the road for their first series, the Yankees are clearly the team to beat in the AL. As we saw in Game 1, this lineup is easily capable of crushing the best pitchers in baseball, and it will be particularly difficult for middle-rotation arms to prevent them from launching dingers all over the yard.

And in games they also have Cole on the mound? Good luck.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at