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Cleveland Indians: Series preview vs. Milwaukee Brewers

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 09: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians attempts to turn a double play past Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning at Miller Park on May 9, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 09: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians attempts to turn a double play past Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning at Miller Park on May 9, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 15: Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Announcer Bob Uecker before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Field on August 15, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Phillies 4-2. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 15: Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Announcer Bob Uecker before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Field on August 15, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Phillies 4-2. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images) /

Storylines

A tale of two bullpens…. again

I mentioned this the last time these teams faced, and not much has changed. The Indians bullpen has hardly improved since that meeting. They still have the worst ERA in baseball at 6.05 and with 15 losses on their record, they’re responsible for over half of the team’s total losses. Now it is a team effort and part of it is due to the offense’s inability to hit in critical moments of the game. But as of late, even that hasn’t helped.

It won’t get much easier as they face on of the best bullpens in baseball. The Brewers bullpen is a model of efficiency with an ERA of 2.68 and 17 saves. This bullpen put the Indians offense in their place in their last meeting, and that was without Corey Knebel. Now that he’s back, they’ve gotten much tougher to face.

Bob Uecker returns to Cleveland

For anyone who has watched the movie Major League, you’ll recognize Bob Uecker’s voice almost instantly. While the Indians have one of the best radio voices in Tom Hamilton, Uecker is a legend. He’s a Cleveland legend at that, and the guy never called a real game for the Tribe. Despite that, his role as the Indians play-by-play man in Major League has earned him a permanent spot in the hearts of Tribe fans. It’s always cool to see him come back to Cleveland.

If you get a chance to catch some of his calls for this series, I highly recommend it. Ironically, much of the movie was filmed as County Stadium in Milwaukee, instead of Cleveland. Much of that can be attributed to the tax incentives in Wisconsin over Ohio at the time. Tell that one to your friends and sound smart.

Worse/Best case scenario

Worse case scenario: 0-2 series loss

Would it really come as a major shock if the Indians lost this series to the best team in the National League right now? Absolutely not. The Brewers have a powerhouse offense and that doesn’t bode well for a team with (I can’t believe I’m saying this) really serious pitching woes right now. The Indians are unable to find a model of consistency right now. After winning 6 straight, they dropped their next three. Two more losses here would only further that point.

Best case scenario: 2-0 series win.

The good news for the Tribe is that their still using two of their best starters here. Despite Carrasco’s recent struggles, he is still a dominant pitcher when he has command of his fastball. Corey Kluber always give the Indians a great chance. It’s inter-league play so the series isn’t that  crucial. But winning this series could be a big morale boost for a team that desperately needs one.

Next: Names to watch on Day 2 of the MLB Draft

The Cleveland Indians really need to get something going. We’re past Memorial Day and into June now. This is where slow starts turn into poor seasons.

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