The Indians did everything possible against the Angels, taking the three game sweep after losing the last series against Los Angeles in Cleveland. This has placed them in a much better position in both the division and Wild Card races, but it's not enough.
The Indians will move on to play a quick three game series in Cleveland against the Twins before returning to the road. The next road trip (and three games following) will be the last games the Indians have this year against tough opponents and will likely go far in deciding as many as two American League playoff races. Until then, the Indians must focus 100% on the Twins, who have proven that despite a poor winning percentage, they are no push overs.
Game 1: Friday, August 23rd 7:05 PM EDT
Samuel Deduno, RHP, 7-7, 3.82 ERA vs Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, 9-7, 4.00 ERA
Game 2: Saturday, August 24th 7:05 PM EDT
TBD vs Scott Kazmir, LHP, 7-6, 4.37 ERA
Game 3: Sunday, August 25th 1:05 PM EDT
Mike Pelfrey, RHP, 5-10, 5.19 ERA vs Zach McAllister, RHP, 6-7, 3.59 ERA
- Ubaldo Jimenez is again the key pitcher for the Indians in a series. A great start last time out dropped his era to 4.00, the lowest point it's been since after his first start. He will need to be great next time out as well facing off against Deduno, who has been a menace to Cleveland since his debut last season.
- To stay in the playoff race, the Indians need to win at least two of three, but a sweep would put them in a much better position and is not out of the realm of possibility.
- Game three has to be considered the easiest game to win based on pitching match-ups, so the Indians should focus 100% on winning game two against an unknown starter. This may mean pulling Kazmir very early in the game and abusing the bullpen if he looks shaky again. McAllister should be able to go deep on Sunday, so the bullpen will not be as important that day.
- With an off day Monday, the Indians need to go all out to win every game in this entire series. This may mean playing all the starters every game, extending the relief staff or forcing starters to pitch deep into games. This series is now the most important of the year until the next one starts.