The Indians are coming off of a 1-0 win in New York, but the offense will need to come alive in Detroit. The Tigers have climbed up the standings and are currently tied for first with the Indians in the AL Central.
The pitching struggled a little in New York, but the staff had no help from the defense until Monday’s 1-0 win. It also didn’t help that the pitchers often pitched with no run support from the offense, which certainly put pressure on them. Carrasco and Chris Perez handled this pressure, but it is not always easy.
This series in Detroit is by far the most important three games for the Tribe thus far this season. They have been on the decline over the last month, but they are still in first place. They cannot easily relinquish their lead. The offense needs to wake up and re-take control of the Central.
Over the last 12 games, the Indians have been shut out 3 times. This is unacceptable for a Major League baseball team. Manny Acta has tried to shake up the lineup, but has had little success. On Monday, Grady Sizemore led off and had Santana behind him in the two hole, but they did not contribute. Michael Brantley hit a triple and was brought in by Asdrubal Cabrera to score the only run. These two have been the only two consistent hitters all year, and they need to continue their success in order for the team to stay in first.
The Indians starters for the upcoming series are Masterson, Carmona, and Talbot. All three have been struggling as of late. Masterson hasn’t won a game since April 26, but he has not received much run support over that span. The next pitcher Carmona has been simply terrible this entire season. He started off the year with a terrible outing against the White Sox, and has not gotten much better since. He is 3-8 with a 5.71 ERA and often struggles to find the strike zone. He is supposed to be the team’s ace, and has pitched like he belongs in the minors. If he cannot change his ways soon, he may not be in the rotation after the All-Star break. Thursday’s pitcher Mitch Talbot is 1-2 over his last three starts, but he has also not received much run support. If the offense can give him just 2 or 3 runs, he should be able to hold that lead.
If the Indians can win at least 2 out of the 3 games in the series, they will hold a one game lead in the division. They need to return to their early season form, and maybe even