Monday, September 9, 2013
Keys to Cleveland's playoff run
By Joe Kaiser
I mentioned it last Friday. Buster Olney tweeted about it on Sunday. And today, ESPN's David Schoenfield touches on it as well -- Cleveland's advantageous remaining schedule gives the Tribe a decent chance to come out on top for the second American League Wild Card spot. A closer look reveals a few of the big hurdles the Tribe will have to overcome in order the beat out Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New York and Kansas City for that spot, however.
Even though its the offense that let down Cleveland for much of the second half of the season, Schoenfield mentions the recent developments on the pitching staff that figure to be particularly troublesome to the team's playoff hopes.
David SchoenfieldIndians may not have enough pitching to take advantage of easy schedule
"With Justin Masterson sidelined possibly for the rest of the season, they need a big stretch run from Corey Kluber, who returned on Saturday from a month-long DL stint (finger) to pitch five solid innings (two runs, one walk, five strikeouts) against the Mets. Kluber had pitched scoreless baseball in three of five starts before going on the DL, so the Indians hope he finds that groove again. ... With closer Chris Perez having allowed 11 runs in his past 15 appearances, the Indians are shaky in the ninth inning as well. I like the schedule, but is there enough pitching here without Masterson?"