|CLEVELAND ( MCALLISTER )|
MINNESOTA ( ALBERS )
|915||CLEVELAND||-170||Ov 8,-120||-160||Ov 8,+100|
|916||MINNESOTA||+160||Un 8,+100||+150||Un 8,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||33-21||+14.4||30-23||5.0||0.267||0.333||4.0||0.239||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5||4-3||4.4||0.274||0.336||2.6||0.236||0.283|
|vs Right-handed Starters||50-71||-2.7||51-65||3.8||0.237||0.304||4.8||0.281||0.336|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-4.2||4-3||2.9||0.244||0.309||6.7||0.313||0.371|
|9/12/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||14-3||W||-125||8.5 un||O||16||11||1||9||9||3|
|9/13/2013||SALAZAR(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||3-1||W||-135||8 ev||U||7||8||1||9||13||0|
|9/14/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RIENZO(R)||8-1||W||-155||8.5 un||O||11||9||0||9||8||0|
|9/15/2013||MCALLISTER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||7-1||W||115||7.5 un||O||10||7||0||7||6||0|
|9/16/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||1-7||L||135||7.5 un||O||7||9||2||14||11||0|
|9/17/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)||5-3||W||-105||8 ov||P||8||8||0||9||10||2|
|9/18/2013||SALAZAR(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||2-7||L||-105||7.5 ov||O||5||4||1||10||8||1|
|9/24/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||5-4||W||-200||7.5 un||O||9||6||0||9||9||1|
|9/25/2013||SALAZAR(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||7-2||W||-290||7 ev||O||9||6||0||8||7||2|
|9/26/2013||MCALLISTER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||ALBERS(L)|| |
|9/27/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HERNANDEZ(L)|| |
|9/28/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ MINNESOTA||DE VRIES(R)|| |
|9/29/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)|| |
|9/13/2013||CORREIA(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||0-3||L||+145||8 un||U||5||5||1||9||6||1|
|9/14/2013||ALBERS(L)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||0-7||L||+145||7.5 ov||U||4||7||1||10||8||0|
|9/15/2013||HERNANDEZ(L)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||6-4||W||+200||7.5 un||O||10||5||1||6||8||0|
|9/16/2013||HENDRIKS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||JOHNSON(R)||1-12||L||110||8.5 un||O||8||10||0||13||7||1|
|9/17/2013||PELFREY(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||3-4||L||135||7.5 ov||U||10||10||0||11||11||3|
|9/18/2013||DIAMOND(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||4-3||W||130||8.5 ov||U||7||4||1||6||4||0|
|9/19/2013||CORREIA(R)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)||6-8||L||187||7.5 un||O||10||10||0||11||7||2|
|9/20/2013||ALBERS(L)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||0-11||L||190||7.5 un||O||6||7||4||11||3||0|
|9/21/2013||HERNANDEZ(L)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||1-9||L||225||8 ov||O||6||4||2||16||9||0|
|9/22/2013||DE VRIES(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAY(R)||7-11||L||230||8 un||O||12||7||0||11||6||1|
|9/28/2013||DE VRIES(R)||CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)|| |
|CLEVELAND: HITTING: SS ASDRUBAL CABRERA's reinvented swing, modeled after Ben Zobrist, likely led to his power surge. OF GRADY SIZEMORE is back on a one-year deal, so he has plenty of financial incentive to stay healthy. But he will begin the season on the DL after back surgery. OF SHELLEY DUNCAN is expected to get more playing time in replacing Sizemore, but speedy OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA is also waiting for his shot. Injuries and off-the-field issues spoiled OF SHIN SOO-CHOO's 2011, but there's a good chance he bounces back . . . OF MICHAEL BRANTLEY does everything well enough to get a regular gig in center. C CARLOS SANTANA is developing into a middle-of-the-order run producer. DH TRAVIS HAFNER can't be trusted to stay healthy or to produce power numbers. After another down year, 1B MATT LaPORTA will have to sit and watch CASEY KOTCHMAN start at first more often than not. 3B LONNIE CHISENHALL will get his chance to play every day, but dwindling production the past two years is a concern. 2B JASON KIPNIS will get first crack at second base. He's got nice pop for a middle infielder. |
STARTING PITCHING: JUSTIN MASTERSON's strikeout rate continues to decline, and he still gets hit hard by lefties. Still, his strong groundball rate guarantees he's a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm at worst. His velocity dropped last year, and there's no telling if UBALDO JIMENEZ will ever regain his early 2010 form. He's the definition of high-risk, high-reward. DEREK LOWE was a decent middle-of-the-rotation arm in the National League, but now he must adjust to facing superior A.L. lineups . . . Healthy again, JOSH TOMLIN will remain in the rotation. He's hittable, throwing strikes and relying on his defense. Former Twins hurler KEVIN SLOWEY rounds out the staff. Although he posted a 6.67 ERA last year, Slowey has exhibited pinpoint control in his career with just 84 walks in 532.2 innings, tallying a .470 K-to-BB ratio. JEANMAR GOMEZ is a decent minor league arm, but his ceiling is low (long term and in the immediate future). CARLOS CARRASCO may not pitch in the bigs this year after Tommy John surgery.
RELIEF PITCHING: CHRIS PEREZ is entrenched as the closer, but he was a bit of a disappointment last season. His velocity dropped slightly, and his strikeout rate fell off a cliff. If Perez gets hurt, VINNIE PESTANO is next in line for saves. He may be undersized, but his stuff is overpowering. TONY SIPP proved he can get out righties too, but his value is as a lefty-on-lefty guy. Ditto for sidearmer JOE SMITH, who is deadly on righties. But it would be a surprise if he shut down lefties for a second straight year. RAFAEL PEREZ has been hampered by shoulder soreness in Spring Training, but the lefty should once again be serviceable in the late innings this year.
|MINNESOTA: HITTING: OF BEN REVERE's slap-and-run style fits well in spacious Target Field. He will compete with lefty Chris Parmelee for the starting RF job. OF DENARD SPAN should be over his concussion problems. He works the count well as a steady presence near the top of the order. C JOE MAUER will see more time at first in an attempt to keep him healthy. Offensively, he'll be limited by a pitcher-friendly home park and no support in the lineup. RYAN DOUMIT has a chance to play regularly and stay healthy as a full-time DH and/or backing up Mauer behind the dish. 1B JUSTIN MORNEAU's concussion symptoms came back late last year. It's a bad omen. OF JOSH WILLINGHAM is being relied on to produce runs, but he's going from one pitcher-friendly home park (Oakland) to another. 3B DANNY VALENCIA showed enough power in 2011 to secure an everyday job heading into 2012. Newly signed SS JAMEY CARROLL has done a nice job off the bench, but hasn't been tested in an everyday role. If hamstring problems are still holding him back, 2B ALEXI CASILLA has won the second-base job ahead of disappointing import TSUYOSHI NISHIOKA, who will start the year in the minors. |
STARTING PITCHING: Who would have thought CARL PAVANO would emerge as the picture of consistency and durability? While he's far from a star, the veteran continues to be a rock for Minnesota, throwing strikes and eating innings. SCOTT BAKER got hurt again last year. If he could ever stay healthy, he's the prototype for success at Target Field'lots of strikeouts, few walks, lots of flyouts. The FRANCISCO LIRIANO rollercoaster nosedived again last year. The Twins have gotten so desperate to keep him healthy that they actually let him pitch more over the offseason. He's obviously a huge risk again. BRIAN DUENSING, NICK BLACKBURN and JASON MARQUIS are all the definition of fifth starter. They serve it up, give up a lot of hard-hit balls, and hope they get hit right at their defenders. If Duensing and Blackburn falter, ANTHONY SWARZAK probably pitched well enough last year to get a shot in the rotation. LIAM HENDRICKS, one of the organization's better prospects, would be a slightly more exciting option.
RELIEF PITCHING: Despite his underwhelming performance last year, MATT CAPPS will pitch the ninth inning again because of his 'closer's experience.' He figures to be on an undeservedly long leash. GLEN PERKINS certainly proved he deserves to close. He was Minnesota's best reliever in his first full season in the 'pen. His velocity was up as a short reliever, and the lefty was truly overpowering. If things go sour for the Twins again this season (and it seems likely they will), perhaps they'll get serious about Perkins later this year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (CLEVELAND-MINNESOTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Indians-Twins Preview* =======================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Cleveland (87-70) at Minnesota (66-91), 8:10 p.m. EDT
The Cleveland Indians have gotten hot at just the right time, and they aren't showing any signs of slowing down.
Looking to hold on to the AL's second wild-card spot, the Indians go for a seventh consecutive win Thursday night in the opener of a four-game road set against the lowly Minnesota Twins.
Michael Brantley collected three more hits and Nick Swisher clubbed his sixth homer this month as Cleveland (88-70) beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Wednesday. Winners in 16 of 21, the Indians remained one game behind wild card-leading Tampa Bay and one ahead of Texas with four to play.
"We're in control of our own destiny. That's all you can ask for at this time of year," designated hitter Jason Giambi said. "We've just got to play baseball, that's all we gotta do. We don't have to worry about anybody else beating anybody else. We've just get to go out and play baseball, which is the fun part of the game."
Cleveland, which has outscored opponents 29-11 during its win streak, has taken four of its last five against Minnesota (66-92).
The Indians now turn to Zach McAllister (9-9, 3.88 ERA), who is looking to win a career-high third consecutive start after posting a 1.54 ERA in his last two. The right-hander yielded one run over five-plus innings in Friday's rain-shortened 2-1 victory over Houston.
"This is an exciting time right now in the year. To be where we are right now, it's awesome," he told MLB's official website. "You can't ask for anything better right now."
McAllister won three straight starts Aug. 13-24, a stretch that included two victories over Minnesota. He allowed three earned runs in 13 1-3 innings and held the Twins to a .170 average in those outings.
Chris Herrmann is 0 for 8 against McAllister, and Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon and Trevor Plouffe are all 1 for 7. Josh Willingham, though, is 6 for 10 with three homers.
Hoping to avoid a seventh loss in eight games, the Twins fell 1-0 to Detroit on Wednesday as the Tigers clinched the AL Central.
"It leaves a nasty feeling in you," Dozier said. "Kind of a hungry feeling. It's what you play for."
Minnesota, which was limited to three singles and went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, is batting .205 in such situations while losing 16 of 21.
The Twins will try to bounce back behind rookie Andrew Albers (2-4, 3.98). The left-hander, who threw a two-hitter in a 3-0 win over Cleveland on Aug. 12 in his second big-league start, has since gone 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA over seven outings.
Albers' woes continued Friday, giving up eight runs - three earned - in 4 2-3 innings in an 11-0 loss at Oakland.
"You just keep battling, keep trying to make pitches and just keep working at it," he said. "Unfortunately tonight I just wasn't able to battle through it often enough."
He will have to be careful with Brantley, who is 17 for 35 (.486) with two homers and eight RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak. The left fielder, though, is batting .179 in 15 games against the Twins this year.
All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis, in contrast, is hitting .403 with 11 extra-base hits - four homers - and 23 RBIs during an 18-game stretch in the series dating to last season.
|Last Updated: 9/22/2014 5:18:18 PM EST|