Francisco Lindor was 13 years old the last time the Indians won an American League Championship Series game.
Plenty of 13-year-old Indians fans will emulate Lindor in their backyards Saturday after the 22-year-old shortstop hit a two-run home run in Friday's Game 1 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, the only runs scored by either side in the Tribe's 2-0 victory. Lindor finished with two of his team's six hits on the night, with the sixth-inning jack being his second of this postseason.
The homer made Corey Kluber's 6 1/3 scoreless innings stand up. Kluber was in and out of trouble for much of the game -- the Jays put two runners on in each of the first two innings but couldn't push any across -- before giving way to Andrew Miller and Cody Allen for the final eight outs.
The 0-2 changeup to Lindor was one of the only mistakes made by Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada all evening. The right-hander was otherwise stingy, allowing just six hits -- five singles and Lindor's dinger -- and a walk while striking out six over eight innings.
For the Jays, Friday was also a bit of deja vu after the club was also shut out in Game 1 of the 2015 ALCS against the Royals. The Royals, of course, ended up winning that series in five games before defeating the Mets in the World Series. The Jays' starter that day?
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Bauer-less, We Are Bauer-less
The distance between Trevor Bauer's starts got a few days longer Friday.
Bauer, originally scheduled to start Saturday's ALCS Game 2, was pushed back to Game 3 after he cut his finger repairing a drone the night before the series opener. Bauer will now start at the Rogers Centre on Monday.
The 25-year-old needed 10 stitches to sew up the laceration on his right pinkie finger. Indians manager Terry Francona said Bauer is still able to throw all of his pitches despite the injury but said the extra rest will give the stitches extra time to heal.
"He was really optimistic that, given the extra 48 hours, he'll be good to go," Francona said.
If there's a silver lining, it's that Bauer was notably better on the road than he was at home this year. The right-hander posted a 3.67 ERA in 16 away appearances, as compared to a 4.73 ERA in 19 home games.
Hendricks (Forearm) Set For Game 2 Start
In the other postseason series, the news Friday was also about a Game 2 starter. This time, it was positive for the team delivering the news.
Kyle Hendricks, who left Game 2 of the NLDS versus the Giants after taking a comebacker off the right forearm, said Friday that he's ready to go for Sunday's NLCS Game 2. Cubs manager Joe Maddon agrees, tabbing Hendricks to start the potential matchup of two National League Cy Young candidates -- though not official, Clayton Kershaw is expected to start Game 2 for the Dodgers.
"I've made it clear to them I'm ready to go," Hendricks said Friday. "I think it was clear a couple days ago. It felt really good. Like I said, once I was able to get back in my normal throwing program, everything from there is good to go."
It's not a surprising development -- after Hendricks' NLDS start, the move to take him out was described as precautionary -- but it surely offered Maddon and company a sigh of relief. Hendricks was pedestrian in that Game 2 start, allowing two runs on four hits over 3 2/3 innings before exiting, but the 26-year-old posted a league-best 2.13 ERA in 190 innings during the regular season.
Quick Hits: On the other side, the Dodgers, fresh off having used their two best pitchers in Thursday's NLDS-clinching victory over the Nationals, have officially named Kenta Maeda their NLCS Game 1 starter against the Cubs. Maeda was lit up for four runs over just three innings in an NLDS Game 3 loss to the Nationals. The Dodgers have not officially announced any of their starters beyond Maeda, although Kershaw is expected to get the ball in Game 2 ... Devon Travis (knee) will undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of his knee injury. Travis returned to the Blue Jays lineup on Friday after missing the final two games of the ALDS due to a right knee injury. He re-injured the knee during the fifth inning of Game 1 against the Indians. He remains hopeful that he'll be able to play but admitted that the injury is very painful ... Wilson Ramos will be sidelined for 6-8 months following surgery Friday to repair ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee. The 6-8 month timetable means his recovery will bleed into next season, and any sort of setback could cost him a good chunk of 2017. It's the second time he's had his right ACL operated on. Still, Ramos should be able to land a sizable contract this winter coming off a career year that saw him bat .307/.354/.496 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI over 131 games ... Zach Duke underwent Tommy John surgery and also had his flexor muscle repaired last week. This comes out of nowhere, as we hadn't heard of any elbow trouble that Duke was having until now. However, he is coming off a career-high 81 appearances in 2016, and it appears that his arm just couldn't hold up. He'll miss the entire 2017 season before hitting free agency the following winter ... Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Royals "are receiving a lot of trade calls" on Wade Davis. Heyman says that the closer "appears to be available at the right price" as the Royals look to cut some payroll this offseason. There would figure to be plenty of interest in Davis even in a market that's set to have impending free agents Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon, as he's set to make just $10 million in 2017 after the Royals pick up his option. However, let's not forget that Davis dealt with a forearm issue this season and wasn't as dominant as he had been in past year ... Zach Britton's "game-worn" jersey from this year's Wild Card game is up for auction. Britton disagreed with the assessment.