The Indians went out and acquired Ubaldo Jimenez to help them get over the top and win the American League Central, and today, the Tribe needs him to come through, or Cleveland will leave Detroit further behind than they have been all year.
Of course, Ubaldo could be lights-out, but if the offense cannot produce more than it has in the first two games of this three-game series, it may not matter.
The Tigers will go for a sweep at Comerico Park at 1:05 this afternoon when they send Rick Porcello against an offense that has been held to two runs and only 12 hits in 18 innings this weekend.
Jimenez has the template of having beaten the Tigers on August 10 in Cleveland, when he went eight innings and allowed three runs
in a 10-3 Tribe victory. None of those runs were earned, however. Jimenez gave up five hits in that one, walking one and fanning six in what was by far his best outing since coming to the Indians from Colorado.
However, in his two road starts for Cleveland, Jimenez — while avoiding any losses, thanks to the offense — has surrendered nine earned runs and 16 hits in only 9.2 frames of work.
Porcello, meanwhile, was knocked around in that August 10 outing in Cleveland, giving up eight runs and 11 hits in only 3.2 innings. Porcello had another shaky outing against Minnesota in his last start, and although his record is 11-8, his ERA is a high 4.98.
So looking strictly at the pitching matchup today, one would have to say "advantage Indians". Of course, the same could have been said with Josh Tomlin going on Friday and David Huff on the hill yesterday.
We all know how that worked out.
The Indians will return home after today’s game and will open a four-game set to be played over three days against the Seattle Mariners, beginning on Monday night at Progressive Field.