CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians play the Minnesota Twins in game three of a four game series tonight at Progressive Field.
The Indians fell short to the Twins last night by a final score 3-2.
The Indians come into today’s game with a record of 62-50.
They are currently nine games ahead of the Twins for first place.
The Twins are in second place with a record of 53-59.
The Indians magic number to clinch the division and a postseason birth is 42 games.
Pitchers: Indians RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.48 ERA) vs Twins RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.60 ERA)
Radio: WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM
Here are three keys for tonight’s ballgame:
1. Clevinger could use a win
RHP Mike Clevinger will be on the mound tonight for the Indians. Clevinger hasn’t had a win since July 1st against the Oakland Athletics.
In his most previous start was August 3rd against the Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels.
He went six innings pitched. Giving up 3 earned runs on five hits, one hit batter, two home runs, and six strikeouts.
2. Indians could use the bats early
This has been a weird year for the Indians offense.
They’ve had some really good games. Then there’s the bad.
Sometimes you just get shut down. One thing has been evident for the Indians this season.
When they score early, the pressure for the opposing team becomes insurmountable.
The Indians starting rotation has been one of the best teams in baseball.
When offense gives the starters an early lead, the odds are heavily stacked in the tribe’s favor.
3. Get to the bullpen
Ever since the Indians acquired LHP Brad Hand and RHP Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres the Indians bullpen has returned to it’s dominant form.
Probably the biggest acquisition could be LHP Andrew Miller back from the DL.
Miller’s return to the bullpen has given Indians manager Terry Francona all the weapons he needs in the late innings.
Francona has been bouncing back and forth with Hand and RHP Cody Allen as the closers.
This is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
At some point, Francona will have to make a decision one way or another on who will close the games.