The series against Atlanta couldn't have gone any worse for the Indians as they were swept, making this the second worst thing the Braves have done to the Tribe. Luckily for them, however, the Tigers had similar failings against Oakland, losing three of four.
The Central Division is truly on the line in this series, despite a full month left in the season. Detroit's failure to keep Oakland at bat in their home field has allowed the Indians to maintain an obtainable deficit in the division. Even a sweep would not be enough, however, for the Indians to take over, so they will be playing for the right just to stay in the race.
Game 1: Friday, August 30th 7:08 PM EDT
Zach McAllister, RHP, 7-7, 3.51 ERA vs Rick Porcello, RHP, 10-7, 4.49 ERA
Game 2: Saturday, August 31st 7:08 PM EDT
Scott Kazmir, LHP, 7-6, 4.25 ERA vs Anibal Sanchez, RHP, 11-7, 2.61 ERA
Game 3: Sunday, September 1st 1:08 PM EDT
Danny Salazar, RHP, 1-2, 3.67 ERA vs Justin Verlander, RHP, 12-10, 3.73 ERA
- When playing a rival, every game essentially counts double in the standings. Because of this, a series loss would end any hopes the Indians have at the Central Division title in 2013. A sweep is too much to dream for, so a simple series win would have to be enough.
- The pitching match-ups stack up well for the Tribe in games one and three, so those need to be the primary focus. This means if any starters will be getting time off, it should be against the top Tigers pitcher, Sanchez, rather than against the usually difficult Verlander.
- Miguel Cabrera is considered Day-To-Day yet again as he struggles to be a third baseman in fullback's body. If he does play in this series, the Indians should be absolutely relentless. Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs should be especially persistent in trying to drop bunts down the third base line until the heavyweight hits the canvas for good.
- The time has come for Lonnie Chisenhall to step up. Facing all right handed starters he will have a great opportunity to help the team and to show that this season hasn't been a total waste. That is if the Terry Francona feels he even deserves a chance to play in such a pivotal series.