Red Sox could set club wins record against Indians
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
- With their 11-6 victory over the Yankees yesterday, the Red Sox joined the Indians as the only teams to officially clinch their division and a playoff spot in general. These teams split a four-game series back in August, with Cleveland winning the first two, and the Boston taking the final two games.
- Trevor Bauer will be making his first start since a line drive to the leg sent him to the DL on August 11. Through 25 starts in 2018, Bauer has 214 strikeouts, while allowing eight home runs. The last AL pitcher with 200+ strikeouts and eight or fewer HR allowed through 25 starts was Pedro Martinez in 1999.
- In two starts since coming off the DL, Chris Sale has pitched 4.0 scoreless innings. Sale has limited opponents to a .175 batting average this season, on pace to be the lowest by any pitcher since 2000, when Pedro Martinez held batters to a .167 mark (minimum 150 IP).
- Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 yesterday with 5 RBI and hit his 30th home run of the season. Betts has a 1.057 OPS this season to go along with 28 stolen bases. The last AL player with an OPS over 1.050 and 25+ stolen bases in a season was George Sisler in 1922 (1.061 OPS and 51 SB).
- Francisco Lindor has seven home runs since September 3, most in the AL over that time. Lindor has 96 home runs so far in his career, tied with Nomar Garciaparra for most ever by a shortstop through four MLB seasons (based on player's primary position through that season).
- In 61 career games against the Indians, J.D. Martinez is slashing .308/.375/.604 with 18 home runs, 54 RBI and 33 runs scored. Martinez is 9-for-22 (.409) against Bauer is his career with a homer and four RBI.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/21/2018 thru 9/23/2018
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
CLEVELAND -- Two teams that have won their respective divisions three years in a row will meet Saturday night at Progressive Field for the second game of a three-game series that could be a potential preview of a postseason series.
The 105-win Boston Red Sox, the American League East champions, will face the 85-win Cleveland Indians, the AL Central champs. The two teams split a four-game series in Boston last month. Boston beat Cleveland 7-5 on Friday night, the Red Sox's 105th win of the season, tying the franchise record set in 1912.
Saturday's pitching matchup will be two right-handers, Boston's Rick Porcello vs. Cleveland's Mike Clevinger.
Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA) is coming off a 5-3 win over the New York Mets in his last start, on Sept. 15. In that game, Porcello pitched five innings, giving up three runs and two hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Porcello's last start against Cleveland came Aug. 20. The Red Sox lost that game and Porcello took the loss, pitching seven innings and allowing five runs and six hits, with six strikeouts and one walk. In his career against the Indians, Porcello has made 23 starts and is 10-5 with a 3.51 ERA.
Clevinger is on a late-season roll. In his last eight starts, he is 5-1 with a 1.85 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .189 batting average.
Those numbers include his last start, a 15-0 win over Detroit on Sept. 15. Clevinger pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, with five strikeouts and three walks.
Clevinger last faced Boston on Aug. 21, 2017, when he got no decision in a 5-4 Cleveland victory. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs and four hits, with four strikeouts, four walks and two home runs allowed.
Boston is not one of Clevinger's preferred opponents. In two starts against the Red Sox last year, his only two career appearances against Boston, he was 0-1 with an 11.05 ERA. In 7 1/3 innings in those two starts, he gave up nine runs, 11 hits and eight walks.
One of the hitters in Boston's potent lineup that Clevinger will have to pay particular attention to is MVP candidate J.D. Martinez, who in his four years with the Detroit Tigers, wore out Cleveland pitching. Martinez is a career .308 hitter vs. Cleveland, and he has more home runs (18) and RBIs (54) against the Indians than against any other opponent in the major leagues.
This year, Martinez is having a career year. He leads the league in RBIs (124) and is second in the AL in hitting (.330) and second in home runs (41).
"Unless you make your pitches to him, he can do some damage," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He can pull it with power, hit it the other way with power. He's taken things to another level this year. He's really dangerous."
A key hitter for the Indians is third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Aug. 31, and is trying to get up to speed after spending most of the 2018 season on the disabled list with a strained calf.
Donaldson was used as the designated hitter Friday night, and Francona said he will start at third base on Saturday and Sunday, the first time since joining Cleveland that Donaldson has played three games in a row.
"He's gotten himself in great shape, and it's paying off," Francona said. "We're trying to play him enough without playing too much."
Updated September 22, 2018