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September 23, 2013

What You Need to Know

The Weekend's Playoff Developments

by Daniel Rathman


The Weekend Takeaway
It’s not easy to sweep a four-game series, even against the 2013 Astros. The A’s, Angels, Blue Jays, Rays, Rockies, and White Sox all tried to do that, and all of them came up with three wins or fewer. The Indians, though, would not be denied.

Terry Francona’s club smelled blood with the Astros coming to town and the second wild card spot within reach. And they did what contenders are supposed to do in September: they took care of business, holding the visitors to two runs on Sunday and one run in each of the first three.

Thursday’s opener was an 11-inning affair in which Matt Carson delivered the winning knock long after Ubaldo Jimenez—who turned in another stellar effort, tossing seven innings of one-run ball while fanning nine and walking none—was done. The Indians stranded 11 and Nick Swisher managed to go 4-for-4 while scoring only once and driving in zero of his teammates, but the Tribe came out on top.

Game two lasted only seven innings before the skies opened up and the umpires, faced with a bleak Doppler radar projection, decided to call it a night. Again, the Indians went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base, but Zach McAllister, Marc Rzepczynski, and Bryan Shaw ensured that the two runs Cleveland did plate would be sufficient. The winning tally crossed the dish when the Astros decided it might be fun to see how many errors they could make in one play

Michael Brantley slugged the Indians’ first homer of the series in the opening frame of game three, a three-spot for the home team that Scott Kazmir protected for seven innings. The left-hander struck out 10 Astros before giving way to Cody Allen and Joe Smith. And on Sunday, the offense really came alive, chucking up a pair of crooked numbers, a three and a four, en route to nine total runs in support of Corey Kluber.

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<< Previous Article
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