The Indians handed Corey Kluber the loss on short rest after Kluber allowed two runs in five innings.
The battle scarred Indians will send Ryan Merritt out to the hill today vs the Blue Jays Marco Estrada...
1) Was asked yesterday about what I thought the beaten up Indians would do with a 3-0 lead.
My response-I think even with a battered pitching staff that Cleveland should win one out of four against Toronto,but in the World Series,it would not be good and under the present conditions,I see no way that they will beat the NL champions...
2) Corey Kluber was very admirable starting on short rest and I think the decision to remove him after 89 pitches was a smart one.
Why,when I so often criticize about the pitch count mentality in today's game?
Because with the staff in the state that it is in,Kluber could have to return again on short rest for a potential game seven...
3) Two plays that changed the feel of this game.
Fifth inning-two down,one run in and Roberto Perez on second with the tying run.
Carlos Santana hits a bullet that looks headed to left field,but Josh Donaldson dives,scrambles and ends the inning by throwing out Santana.
If this game being everything to Toronto gets tied up,does the Blue Jays momentum end?
4) The Bryan Shaw throwing error didn't score any runs on its own,but you just had the "feel" that the Indians knew at that stage.
Body language sometimes can be very telling and with the screaming Blue Jay crowd,I didn't feel great about the Edwin Encarncion at bat,which would score two runs and put the game away...
5) Just two hits (Roberto Perez and Tyler Naquin) and with Marco Estrada,who with the exception of one pitch,controlled the Indians in game one facing them today-could the Indians bats be cooling at the worst time?
6) Ryan Merritt- I've seen Ryan Merritt pitch a decent amount as he rose through the Cleveland system.
I like him,but this is a huge game for any pitcher let alone one with his level of experience.
Merritt doesn't throw hard,changes speeds a lot and is a lefty-My answer?
Who knows,maybe Merritt will be the next Bob Wolcott!!