Three stars for Yankees against the Indians
Brandon McCarthy: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 8 K's
After a fitting tribute for Paul O'Neill, the Yankees faced an uphill battle on Saturday against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. Kluber was his usual brilliant self, keeping the Yankees scoreless over six innings, while striking out 10 to move his record to 13-6 and drop his ERA to 2.46 on the season. But while Brandon McCarthy was unable to pitch New York to a victory, he more than held his own against the Cleveland right-hander.
McCarthy held the Indians to just a pair of runs over his 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight despite taking the loss, his first since joining the Yankees in July. With the start, McCarthy lowered his ERA to 2.21 in his six starts with New York. As Lou DiPietro wrote on Saturday , McCarthy has been much more than just an upgrade for the Yankees' rotation, and has been pitching like a legitimate ace.
Carlos Beltran: 2 for 12 (.166), grand slam, 5 RBI
Carlos Beltran came into the series against the Indians carrying the hottest Yankees bat. Prior to Friday night's opener, Beltran had collected a hit in 12 of the team's 13 previous games, including a six-game stretch in which he posted two hits in each game. Beltran carried that over into Friday's opener, in which his grand slam helped propel New York to a 10-6 win, the team's only victory in the series.
Beltran's bat cooled off over the weekend, as he went hitless on Saturday and Sunday. But New York's designated hitter has still been red-hot of late, and has provided a major boost for a Yankees' lineup that has struggled to find consistency.
Jacoby Ellsbury: 4 for 9 (.444), 1 HR, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 SB
Jacoby Ellsbury was an offensive force throuhout the three games against the Indians. The center fielder reached base three times in Friday's opener, scoring two of New York's 10-run outburst. Against the tough right-hander Corey Kluber on Saturday, Ellsbury was one of the few Yankees to find any success, going 2 for 3 with a double n the afternoon.
Ellsbury closed by going 2 for 4 in Sunday's finale, driving in the Yankees' only run, and collecting his 30th stolen base of the season. Ellsbury saw his average click up to .280 on the season, to go with his 10 home runs and 52 RBI, as he's provided the all-around production New York hoped to get when they lured him away from Boston this offseason.