The Cleveland Indians will try to avoid a shocking sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics on Sunday after dropping the first two games of the series. Cleveland will send Mike Clevinger out to the mound to attempt to salvage a game from this three-game set.
Let’s look at the three keys to a Tribe victory.
1. Sunshine Sunday
The Indians are hoping that the ridiculous heat wave isn’t the only hot situation at Progressive Field. Mike Clevinger is on the mound and that means “Sunshine” is on the horizon.
Clevinger is 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA this season, having a rather impressive year with strong outings dispersed throughout the season. But sometimes, he runs into trouble against under-the-radar offenses. That’s Oakland in a nutshell.
The Athletics aren’t a team that should be above .500 on paper. But timely hitting and surprising pitching has them at 46-38 and a win away from sweeping the AL Central leader.
If Clevinger can give the Indians quality seven innings of work, his job will be complete.
2. Awaken The Bottom Of The Order
Cleveland has three hits yesterday as a team, which isn’t a winning recipe. Today, it’ll be necessary to awaken the bottom of the Tribe’s offense.
The only Indians to get hits yesterday were Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Michael Brantley. Guys like Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso need to provide some pop to energize a rather-flat offense right now. Otherwise, another pitching performance could fall to the wayside.
3. Get Out Of The Heat
With such a hot day in store for Ohio, the Indians should be trying to stay out of the heat as much as possible.
Games have been determined by who can beat the heat and persevere through the weather at times. Getting out of the field and staying cool will be an extra motive for both teams today.