Tribe Take a Commanding Lead In ALCS
By: James Kelly Jr. – @KellyJLive
Okay, now somebody wake up Harry Doyle ! The Indians are one win away from their first American League Pennant since 1997. It wasn’t the fact that the Indians ripped game 3 away from the Blue Jays, but how they did it. This win was all about the managing of Cleveland skipper, Terry Francona. After losing his injured hurler, Trevor Bauer in the first inning, to a gushing wound to his finger, Francona picked up the pieces, and turned to his pen to get it done.
Trevor Bauer was originally scratched from his game 2 start, due to stitches in his pinkie finger, and in-game 3, it didn’t take long for the wound to open. Blood ran from Bauer’s right hand like a faucet. Finally, Toronto manager, John Gibbons came out to consult with the umpires, and it was determined Bauer was not able to continue his duties on the mound.
Enter long relievers, Otero, Manship, McAllister, and Shaw to yield just two runs to a stagnant, Blue Jays offense. Then the genius in Francona took over. After using his left-handed stud, Andrew Miller for two innings, on Saturday, and Cody Allen, for the ninth, he merely switched it around. Both pitchers have closer stuff. That was the first time this season Cody Allen pitched in the seventh inning. Allen also pitched the eighth, and Miller shut it down in the ninth.
The Tribe also received home runs from Mike Napoli and Jason Kipnis, as well as stellar defense from left fielder, Coco Crisp. It was an all around team win. These are the kind of games that really test the integrity of a team in October. The Indians are proving they just may have it.
Looking ahead to game 4 Tuesday, the Jays will send fifteen game winner, Aaron Sanchez up against the Indians ace, Corey Kluber. The remarkable part is the Indians have not suffered a defeat this postseason, and are doing it with a three-man rotation. Toronto did not score on Kluber in game 1, and I expect more of the same dominance by Kluber in game 4. This series ends tomorrow night.