Things couldn’t be much worse for the Cleveland Indians, but what can the bullpen do to start the turnaround for this team in a huge Game 3?
There are a lot of things to cover when talking about the state of the Cleveland Indians after Game 2 of the ALDS. But one thing that has plagued this team is the performance of the bullpen. The bullpen has been an issue for the Tribe all season, but now this group is playing poorly at the worst possible time.
It starts with someone considered to be the biggest factor of the ‘pen, Andrew Miller. It’s obvious he isn’t the same person he was in 2016, but he was more of a liability than anything else yesterday. While he wasn’t charged with any earned runs yesterday, his pitching was way off and the Astros jumped all over him.
It used to be that Miller would be used to get the Indians out of a rut. Now it seems like he’s not capable of extinguishing the fires. Trevor Bauer has been used for that. But so far it seems like Bauer has been used more like a janitor that comes in after the mess is made, than damage control that prevents the mess.
Bauer is capable of coming in and working multiple innings. He shouldn’t be used after the damage has been done. Now we have to wonder if he will even be used in a must-win Game 3. So far Adam Cimber and Brad Hand have been the best pitchers out of the bullpen for the Indians. Both have worked marvelous scoreless innings, and they’ve been all the Indians could ask for.
Fun fact: Cody Allen has an ERA of 54.00 in 0.1 innings of work in the Postseason… NOT GREAT, BOB. Cody Allen is in the final year of his contract, and his situation feels similar to that of Bryan Shaw‘s in the 2017 season. Fans simply begging for his days of raising heart rates in Cleveland to be over.
Dan Otero has been used just once in the ALDS, I’m sure we will see more of him in Game 3. That begs the question, how long will Clevinger go, and at what point will Terry Francona take a different approach?
There are a plethora of problems with this team right now. But if the bullpen can make some adjustments and stop letting things get out of hand, the Indians may have a chance to survive Game 3.