Cleveland Indians: What the Tribe’s Pitching Staff is Up Against in the ALDS

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Sep 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) singles during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) singles during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Late September Struggles at the Plate

Sep 29, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) earns a walk during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) earns a walk during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s start with the good news. Boston struggled at the plate over the final two weeks of the regular season, going 7-5 in that span and losing five of its final six games. The Red Sox averaged just over 3.5 runs per game, and slashed only .224/.310/.347 as a team, with an OPS+ of just 82.

Among those who have struggled for Boston in that span were Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley, Jr., who are all fixtures in the everyday lineup, and platoon pieces Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Chris Young, Andrew Benintendi, and Travis Shaw.

If that seems like most of the team, that’s because it is. Among the Red Sox everyday guys, only Mookie Betts and David Ortiz performed at or above their usual production down the final stretch of the regular season.

The late September swoon for John Farrell’s squad offensively was a significant cause for the first two games of the ALDS being played in Cleveland, as it looked entering the final week of that Boston had the inside track for the No. 2 seed. Whether the club’s struggles continue or not could go a long way towards determining who advances to the ALCS.

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