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Cleveland Indians: Breaking down Adam Plutko’s first career MLB start

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Adam Plutko started the nightcap of the doubleheader against Toronto. He was able to give the Cleveland Indians much-needed innings to save the bullpen.

The Indians called up Adam Plutko to start the nightcap of their doubleheader on Thursday night versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

Plutko made two appearances for the Indians in 2016 and didn’t have much success. In 3.2 innings he gave up three runs on five hits. This season Plutko has been great for Columbus. He’s posted an ERA of 2.35 and has an outstanding WHIP of 0.85.

The Game

Early in the game Plutko did an excellent job of establishing his fastball. He was able to move it around the zone and showed good control. He used his fastball to set up his other pitches. The first time through the lineup he relied on hitting the outside corner. Both strikeouts came on pitches away, one on a fastball and the other on a curveball.

The second time through the lineup he didn’t deviate from the plan. He continued to pound the outside corner with his fastball. There wasn’t much challenging the Blue Jay hitters on the inside part of the plate. The way he pitched I have to believe that was the gameplan.

He gave up three solo home runs. Yangervis Solarte hit a good curveball that was down in the zone. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the hitter, not to mention Solarte had a monster doubleheader.

Josh Donaldson just made Plutko pay for a mistake pitch. He missed his spot and Donaldson put the ball halfway up the bleachers. Aledmys Diaz hit an outside slider. It was a bit of a hanger, but overall not a terrible pitch.

Takeaways

Overall he gave the Indians exactly what was needed after that disaster of a pitching performance in game one. The three home runs aren’t ideal, but he was able to keep them to solo shots. He finished the game going 7.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out six and walking zero.

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With the Indians moving Danny Salazar to the 60-day DL and the current struggles of Josh Tomlin, this could be more of an audition than a spot start for Plutko. The way he pitched I think he will be the first pitcher called up next time the Indians need an arm.

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