There were no noticeable signs of panic or pressure.
A lineup that is top heavy with lefties isn't desirable against Sabathia, and that's what the Indians would be forced to trot out onto the field for Game 5 if EE couldn't play.
Before answering questions at his news conference, manager - and Cavs' season-ticket holder - Terry Francona asked about the National Basketball Association team's new lineup, joked about his limited vocabulary and later tried on All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor's diamond-encrusted, $30,000 necklace. "I root for the Astros, so we'll play anybody that advances".
Their season is on the line, and the Indians, who haven't lost three straight since August 1, know it. [It] boils down to the loser goes home.
If he pitches like he did in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, it's curtains.
But after the 102-win Indians played more like the pre-August versions of themselves in their ALDS games 3 and 4 losses at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and Monday, picking favorites isn't as clear-cut as it appeared.
Carrasco was excellent, 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Instead, they fought back. He's been hitting off the machine already, and we're going to have him go out and run just to see where he is running-wise.
And here they are, these Yankees, who have staved off elimination three times in the past week.
The right-hander held them to a run on three hits in a complete-game victory August 3, when he struck out 11, and then allowed just two runs on three hits in eight innings against them August 28.
For Yankees manager Joe Girardi, redemption is within reach. Girardi dismissed any personal satisfaction in his team's comeback, putting the pinstripes above all. "You really want to move on". We're going to have him run during the workout today. The right-hander only lasted 2 2-3 innings in Game 2, a performance almost as stunning as one of his gems.
Sabathia won the 2007 Cy Young Award with the Tribe.
Although they've lost five straight clinching games dating to last year's World Series, the Indians like their chances with Kluber on the mound. He was 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts during the regular season, including 5-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last eight outings. And the Kluber who was 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA last October.
"I feel very good", he said.
Exactly a week earlier, the manager had to get 26 outs from his bullpen in the AL wild-card game.
With Encarnacion nursing a sprained ankle suffered in Game 2, the Indians lineup hasn't looked all that great, producing just four total runs in two losses at Yankee Stadium. Cleveland's cleanup hitter has responded well to treatment and tested his ankle by jogging in the outfield.
"We know how risky he is", Girardi said. Before the game, Francona said the team hoped Encarnacion would be available to pinch-hit. But they got to him in Game 2 last Friday for six runs and seven hits over 2 2/3 innings.