We're finally at the end of another long season and the Indians are making things interesting by competing for a Wild Card position that possibly won't be decided until the final game of the season. After completely decimating the White Sox (and breaking Hawk Harrelson's heart in the process), the Indians will play another lowly Central Division foe in Minnesota. The Twins will be without motivation and without their starting catcher (Joe Mauer is out for the season) as the Indians try to set their place in the 2013 play-offs.
Game 1: Thursday, September 26th 8:10 PM EDT
Zach McAllister, RHP, 9-9, 3.88 ERA vs Andrew Albers, LHP, 2-4, 3.98 ERA
Game 2: Friday, September 27th 8:10 PM EDT
Scott Kazmir, LHP, 9-9, 4.14 ERA vs Pedro Hernandez, LHP, 3-2, 6.05 ERA
Game 3: Saturday, September 28th 4:10 PM EDT
Corey Kluber, RHP, 10-5, 3.61 ERA vs Cole De Vries, RHP, 0-1, 11.70 ERA
Game 4: Sunday, September 29th 2:10 PM EDT
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, 12-9, 3.38 ERA vs Mike Pelfrey, RHP, 5-13, 5.19 ERA
- The many possible play-off scenarios involving the Indians, Rays and Rangers at this point depend as much on the results of the other teams as much as the Indians. The most likely outcome will be that every thing stays the same as all three teams are playing fairly easy teams in their final series. The Indians can simplify things however, by winning this final series.
- A series win (3-1), would guarantee the Indians a play-off spot, but it might not be the one they want. A sweep, would remove the Rangers from the discussion and give the Indians a decent chance at the top Wild Card spot. With a 2-4 record against Tampa this year, the Indians would need to win the top spot outright to earn home field advantage.
- A separate goal for this series will be to win the first three games, making the final game unnecessary to secure a play-off spot. This would allow the Indians to save new ace, Ubaldo Jimenez, for the one game play-off instead of wasting him in a meaningless game against Minnesota. Of course if they don't win the first three, the final game against the Twins may be a must win situation just to tie the Rangers for the final spot.
- The Twins starters have struggled all season and this is the perfect time for the Indians to take advantage to warm up their offense. This series is a little like a cake game scheduled by a BCS team against a D-IAA opponent in that manner. Just like those NCAA games, it will be important for the Indians not to look past the Twins, as they still need to win the series.
- At least one of the starters throwing in this series is likely to be dropped from the rotation during the play-offs assuming the Indians win the Wild Card game. This will be a showcase start for McAllister, Kazmir and Kluber to show they are ready for the post-season.