CLEVELAND — Three games behind the defending American League champion (64-45)Detroit Tigers, can the (62-49)Cleveland Indians tame their nemesis’ from the Motor City?
3-9 against the Tigers, the Indians find themselves three games behind Detroit and winners of nine of their last ten games, including taking two out of three on the road against the NL East last-place Miami Marlins on the road.
Thanks to the efforts of Michael Bourn, All-Star Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher, the Indians have managed to stay close to the AL Central leaders for much of the season, and not pull their annual second-half swoon.
Veterans such as Yan Gomes, Jason Giambi and new fan favorite Ryan Rayburn have helped in infusing a young Tribe team with some much-needed leadership and grit, which will be needed in going toe-to-toe against Detroit at home.
To say that this series being huge for Cleveland is an understatement. If the Indians can find a way to win a minimum of three out of four from the Tigers who will be throwing the likes of AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in game two and 16-game winner Max Scherzer against Cleveland, that may well be easier said than done.
First in team batting average (.279), on-base percentage(.345) and third in slugging percentage at .437, thanks to the likes of heavy hitters in Triple Crown champion Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, Detroit is one of the hottest teams in baseball in winning eight straight games, and seem to be on a serious roll.
If the Indians hope to contain the Tigers, they must get solid pitching efforts from Corey Kluber, Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister if Cleveland hopes to challenge for the division crown.
If there is one statistic that may be comforting to Indians fans that Cleveland has won 15 of it’s last 20 games, if the Indians can continue that trend–and late-game heroics–look for the race between Cleveland and Detroit to go down to the wire.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber