There is a lot of scoreboard watching at this time of year, with the Indians competing in some way or another with Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Kansas City with Boston and Texas possibly in the mix in the future. With all those teams to watch, the most important games to the Indians remain their own. They did a good job coming back to win their last series against Minnesota and have won three of their last four. The most important team to watch, the Detroit Tigers, aided things slightly as well by losing their series to the last place White Sox.
Up next are the current Wild Card leading, Oakland A's, who have lead the Western division most of the season. Here is the series schedule:
Game 1: Friday, August 16th 10:05 PM EDT
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, 8-7, 4.11 ERA vs A.J. Griffin, RHP, 10-8, 3.88 ERA
Game 2: Saturday, August 17th 9:05 PM EDT
Justin Masterson, RHP, 13-8, 3.59 ERA vs Dan Straily, RHP, 6-6, 4.19 ERA
Game 3: Sunday, August 18th 4:05 PM EDT
Scott Kazmir, LHP, 7-5, 4.18 ERA vs Bartolo Colon, RHP, 14-4, 2.75 ERA
Indians Series Goals:
- This will be a tough series against excellent starting pitching. The Indians offense will have to focus on getting runners on base by any possible means. Don't expect many home runs from either team.
- Ubaldo Jimenez will be the biggest question going into the series throwing the ball. Kazmir has had some extra time off and the bullpen should be well rested after a day off Thursday. If Jimenez can throw his usual five innings with less than three runs allowed, it will go a long well to helping the Indians win the series.
- The Indians aren't expected to win this series (on the road against a superior opponent) and thanks to Detroit's failings against New York and Chicago, they don't necessarily have to in order to eventually win the AL Central. Their goal should be just one win out of the three game series with anything above considered a bonus.