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Challenge Accepted; Indians Ready for the Postseason

It’s that time of the year again, and our Indians are back in the playoffs! The Tribe is playing well, and they’re healthy heading to the postseason. Game one is Friday, Oct. 5 in Houston.

Catcher Yan Gomes is still dealing with his right thumb which he injured Saturday in Kansas City. He injured his thumb as he attempted to throw out a runner stealing second base with his hand hitting Alex Gordon’s bat. X-Rays for Gomes were negative. Gomes says he’ll be ready to catch Corey Kluber in game one.

“I’m ready,” he said before the team’s inter-squad scrimmage. ”

Gomes finished the regular season with a .266 batting average, 48 RBI’s and 16 home runs.  The Indians will need to see that same player in the postseason.

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has also dealt with injuries during the 2018 season. Bauer hit the disabled list on Aug. 12 suffering a right leg stress fracture. He could be a possible starter in game four in the ALDS – depending upon his work out of the bullpen in games one through three.

Shane Bieber is another option for Francona.

Reliever Andrew Miller is another interesting name to mention heading to October baseball. The left-hander has been on the D.L three times (Shoulder, Knee) this season. Miller is another pitcher that can be very important to the Tribe as they make their postseason run.

“I feel good,” Miller said yesterday before the team scrimmage. “Feel like I threw the ball well down the stretch. I’m excited, got our hands full in Houston and hopefully go down there and make a statement.”

Second baseman Jason Kipnis believes this might be the best roster the Indians have had heading into the postseason over the last three years.

“This year, we’re good at swing-and-missing the least,” Kipnis said. “We put the ball in play. That’s something {Houston} did well last year, and they’ll tell you that it helped them. Just putting the ball in play can cause a lot of runs and a lot of havoc for the other team.”

Kipnis will be counted on to play center-field. He moved back to the outfield when the club acquired Josh Donaldson, and that moved Jose Ramirez to second.

He also finished the season with 147 games played, batted .230, while hitting 18 home runs and bringing in 75 runs.

He said the Astros are a good match-up because they play well in all aspects of the game. Whether it’s their starting rotation, their bullpen, or hard hitting lineup – they’re still tough.

“They’re aggressive,” he said. “They have it from top to bottom, maybe the most athletic team, and they have a lot of confidence.”

The Astros captured the regular season series against the Indians 4-3. The two teams played each other in a nine days span back in May. Houston took the first series in Cleveland while the teams split the four-game series in Houston.

The Astros have named their starting pitchers for the first three games.  Justin Verlander will start game one with Garrett Cole getting the nod in game two and Dallas Keuchel starting game three.




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