Aaron Civale has been amazing for the Cleveland Indians in 2019. He looks to keep his current pace going in a must-win game Thursday night.
The Cleveland Indians could have been doomed by all the injuries to the starting rotation this season.
Aaron Civale is one of the reasons why the Indians are still fighting for a playoff spot in the final week of the season.
The rookie is on the mound tonight in what will be his final start in an amazing debut season. Civale has made nine starts this season. In each start he has gone at least five innings and has not allowed more than two earned runs. Unfortunately, the Indians have only won in five of his starts due to lackluster offense.
His ERA is down at 1.82 and he has struck out 42 batters in 54.1 innings of work.
The sample size is small but Civale has made it clear he belongs in this rotation. His success, along with that of Adam Plutko and Zach Plesac, made it a much easier decision to move on from Trevor Bauer when the team was already without Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
Add in missed time from Mike Clevinger and the usual “will he, won’t he” from Danny Salazar and the rotation could have been a mess. Instead, Civale stepped in full-time at the start of August and has been one of the better pitchers in the league.
He needs to keep that up tonight or the Indians will be one step closer to elimination.
The Indians have already taken down the Chicago White Sox with Civale on the mound once this season. That came back on September 3 when the rookie went five innings of one-run baseball in a smooth 11-3 victory. He did walk three, but struck out four against what once seemed like a lowly White Sox team.
Wednesday’s loss changed the perception of an easy sweep.
But that loss saw Shane Bieber struggled early and often. Civale has been consistent the past two months and there is no reason to believe that won’t continue tonight. He is too young to feel the pressure of a postseason he has never been to before.
Or so I hope.