The Cleveland Indians picked up a 1-0 over the Chicago Cubs Friday night and Bryan Shaw was a main reason why the team was in a position to win.
The Cleveland Indians have done an amazing thing thus far this postseason.
That’s right. The Indians have now recorded five shutouts in just 11 games this postseason, and they still need to play at least two more. So while this mark is impressive, it may only get better before the World Series is over.
While the starting pitching has been a main reason for the success, it has been the bullpen that has stepped up and dominated over these 11 postseason games.
Much of the attention centers around Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, but Bryan Shaw has held his own for much of the postseason. He has now appeared in nine of the first 11 games, only allowing three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings of work.
For some reason, Shaw has become a frustrating figure for many fans, even though he has been a reliable reliever for much of the season. He has had several collapses, which seem to stand out more than his successes.
But he came in Friday night in an important situation, as the Indians had just gained a 1-0 lead when he entered in the bottom of the seventh.
He quickly got the first two outs before Lonnie Chisenhall misplayed a ball in left field, although it wasn’t ruled an error, putting Jorge Soler on third with Javier Baez at the plate. A groundout to Francisco Lindor ended that scoring chance.
The most important out for Shaw came with one out in the eighth inning, when Kyle Schwarber came to the plate. After returning from his knee injury, Schwarber is being treated like a hero by the national media. He does indeed seem like a great guy, but he hasn’t done enough in his career to garner the praise he is receiving as some sort of folk hero.
Anyway, he entered the game and had his bat shattered by Shaw, hitting a weak pop up in the infield. Shaw then gave up a hit to Dexter Fowler, which led to him being removed for Cody Allen.
His final stat line saw him go 1 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits, although one hit was came on what should have been ruled an error on Chisenhall.
He finished with 31 pitches and was able to get the ball into Allen’s hands, while also continuing the scoreless work of Miller.
So while Shaw is a punching bag for some fans, he proved his value to this team Friday night. No matter the order, the trio of Shaw-Miller-Allen is able to enter a game as early as the fifth inning and hold the opponent to zero runs. Miller and Allen get most of the credit for these instances, but Shaw is a valuable asset in this winning equation.