By Corey Perez
Three of the more exciting words in baseball, let’s play two. Those words were of course uttered by the great Ernie Banks, and today Cleveland Indians fans get a doubleheader as the Toronto Blue Jays come to town. Indians ace Carlos Carrasco toes the rubber in the first matchup, and virtually unknown Adam Plutko gets the start for the Tribe in game two. This is the last time Toronto will be in Cleveland this season, as these dates are makeups from earlier rainouts.
1. Bats cometh alive
Wednesday afternoon marked the most runs the Tribe offense has put up this season (12) as the Indians were able to take two out of three from the Texas Rangers in what proved to be a rather high scoring series.
The Indians scored seven, six and 12 runs respectively against Texas, including Edwin Encarnacion’s three home runs in Wednesday’s contest. While Encarnacion finding his groove is extremely important to the success of the Tribe offense, the biggest takeaway from the Texas series is the play of Jason Kipnis.
2. May the Kip be with you
The month of May is usually such a beautiful time of the year, the sun usually shines a little brighter, the flowers begin to bloom, and Jason Kipnis’s bat comes alive. Not including this season, Jason Kipnis has hit .314 with 14 homers over the last three seasons in the month of May.
This is by far his best month of any season. Not only does Kipnis tend to hit the long ball a little more in May, but he also has the most amount of doubles and RBI over the course of the last few seasons. In a time when inconsistency has been the name of the game thus far for the offense, a little consistency and a bit of a hot streak from the two hole would do wonders for Cleveland’s confidence.
3. Who is Adam Plutko?
Adam Plutko has had a very good start to the season and has earned himself a spot start for the Indians on Thursday. Plutko pitched in two games during the 2016 season, and the results left a sour taste in his mouth as he has a career 7.36 MLB ERA, giving up five hits in three and two-thirds innings. However it seems that Plutko has found his way, because through five starts down in Class Triple-A Columbus, he is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA. This is a great opportunity for Plutko, and it may serve as an audition as such, considering Cleveland may be looking for a fifth starter soon if Josh Tomlin is unable to right the ship.
Following the doubleheader on Thursday the Indians travel to New York to take on the new look Yankees. New York of course knocked the Tribe out of the playoffs last season in the ALDS, winning three straight versus Cleveland. If the Indians hope to have postseason success, the Yankees are one of the teams they’ll likely have to take care of en route to playing deep into October.
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