After one of their most impressive wins of the season, the Cleveland Indians turn their attention to one of the hottest teams in baseball
It’s no secret; the Cleveland Indians have struggled mightily to establish any sort of consistency early this season. They own the second-worst winning percentage (.367) in the big leagues and have failed to win a series since the opener in Houston.
Nothing has come easy. And it doesn’t get any easier as the Tribe plays host to the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game set beginning on Tuesday. St. Louis looks to make history against the Tribe, as a series win would cross off the only active remaining franchise they haven’t defeated in a series.
Though they have lost three of their last five, the Cards bring baseball’s top record into the series and add Matt Carpenter (.333, 5 home runs, 20 RBIs) back into the fray after he missed the weekend series due to dehydration and a rapid heartbeat.
In an attempt to kick-start their first extended winning streak of the season, Cleveland sends Carlos Carrasco to the bump for game one of the series. After beginning the season throwing 11.1 innings of one-run ball, excluding the start in which he was charged with two runs despite leaving the game two batters in, Carrasco has struggled mightily to regain any consistency. He allowed nine runs over his next two starts and has, thus far, posted a 4.85 ERA in the month of May.
Opposite Carrasco will be Cardinals’ right-hander Lance Lynn, who has not pitched well over his last two starts. After allowing two or fewer runs in each of his first three starts, Lynn has been shelled with five or more runs in two of his last three outings. Overall, Lynn is 1-3 on the season and has posted a respectable 3.82 ERA while striking out 42 across 35.1 innings pitched.
Cleveland has not matched up with St. Louis since 2012 but is 14-6 against the Cards in their limited history. But, historical dominance isn’t going to push the Tribe to a series victory.
Here are the starting lineups:
News & Notes:
–According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Indians ranked 24th in the MLB and 13th in the American League with 3.63 runs per game prior to inserting Jason Kipnis into the lead-off role on April 26. Since, the Tribe has posted 5.43 runs per game, ranking fourth in baseball and second in the American League.
–As Nicholas Blazek wrote yesterday, Danny Salazar has filled in nicely as the Tribe’s staff ace while Corey Kluber has struggled early this season. But just how dominant has Salazar been since getting call up on April 18?
-Indians prospect J.P. Feyereisen has yet to allow a run for the Single-A Lake County Captains this season. Feyereisen, a right-handed reliever, has appeared in 11 games out of the bullpen. He is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities and has one win to his credit to go along with 18 strikeouts.