There’s been only one team to drop a 3-0 lead in a best of seven series, which makes the Cleveland Indians extremely confident about heading into game 4 against the Toronto Blue Jays, and the overall outlook of this series.
The bullpen is working like one huge impressive machine. The Blue Jays are whining about calls, but stats reveal the umpires are making mistakes in their favor. They’re simply not hitting, and there’s no cure for that through the league’s front office. Maybe at some point the workload put on this bullpen will start showing, but for now, with Corey Kluber taking the mound in game 4, the Indians believe they have the perfect combination to make this season a very special one by the end.
Previous game: The Indians won 4-2 to take a 3-0 lead over the Blue Jays. Trevor Bauer started bleeding in his mangled up finger and was taken out after only two outs, which meant the Indians bullpen was used for 8.1 innings. No problem, especially with Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and Andrew Miller closing the game, giving up 3 hits in the final four innings, but striking out 7 batters and not allowing a single run. Offense came from Mike Napoli and Jason Kipnis, both hitting home runs, as the Blue Jays big hitters continue to struggle.
Starting pitchers: Corey Kluber will take the mound for the second time in this preseason. He has yet to allow a run, and the Indians have won in shutouts in both of his appearances, once against Boston and one against Toronto. He did allow six hits in his previous appearance against the Blue Jays, also striking out 6 and generating 11 ground balls in 6.1 innings. Blue Jays hitters are overall .294 against him throughout his career.
Aaron Sanchez, the Blue Jays best pitcher in the regular season, didn’t have a great appearance for Toronto in their 7-6 win against Texas, giving up 6 runs in 5.2 innings while walking four and striking out 5. He wasn’t very effective in the regular season game against the Indians either, not making it out of the fifth inning, giving up 4 hits and 5 runs before being pulled out of the game. The 24-year old doesn’t have a long track record against these Indians players, but has had trouble with a few of them.
Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson have a pretty good record against Kluber, but it seems that the Indians knowing they can turn to their bullpen and shut down anyone at anytime is giving their starting pitchers and incredible confidence boost. The same can’t be said of the Blue Jays, who for the first time in this series kinda lost control of what goes on at the plate, and have a number of Indians players to worry about now: Francisco Lindor, joined by Napoli and Kipnis.