Series Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

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Pitching Matchups:

McAllister kept up his consistent approach in his last outing against Kansas City. Unfortunately, a lack of run support didn’t help things much and resulted him in taking the loss. He’s been the Tribe’s most consistent pitcher over the past couple of weeks and look for that to continue against the Twins. Six solid innings should be expected and the Indians are going to need it if they want to end this miserable run of luck they’ve been on.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The Twins will counter with Scott Diamond, who has quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers on their staff. In his previous outing against the Tribe, the very game that started the Indians nine game slide, Diamond threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout. He was unbelievable. In fact, in both of his starts against the Indians this year, Diamond has thrown 16 innings and allowed only three runs, none of which were earned. Hopefully Cleveland learned something from that game and can use it to solve the riddle that has been Scott Diamond.

  • Game 2: Corey Kluber (0-0, 12.46/3.55) vs. Samuel Deduno (3-0, 2.48/5.39)

Corey Kluber’s first start of 2012 didn’t go well. Over 4.1 innings he gave up six runs on nine hits. However, the silver lining was that Kluber didn’t walk any batters, so he avoided working himself into further trouble. The problem was he couldn’t make the Royals swing and miss. If he can’t improve on his ability to avoid contact against a Twins team that has been solid in the middle, it could be another short outing for Kluber. It’s best to set expectations low and how that Kluber turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

As for Deduno, he’s on fire right now. Over his last three outings, one of which came against the Indians, he is 3-0 with an 0.93 ERA in 19 innings of work. The one blemish on his pristine numbers is his strikeout to walk ratio, which is 11 to 12. He’s issuing walks but managing to avoid the big mistake. In other words, he’s been the exact opposite of every Cleveland pitcher right now. If the Indians want to be successful they’ll need to stay patient, work some walks, and find a way to come up with the big hit that has eluded them.

  • Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

    Game 3: Justin Masterson (7-10, 4.78/4.15) vs. Brian Duensing (2-6, 4.39/4.39)

What is there left to say about Justin Masterson? For as awesome as 2011 was, 2012 has been just as terrible. Yes, he’s had moments of brilliance here and there, but for the most part this season has been one giant disappointment after another. In his most recent start against the Tigers, Masterson allowed seven runs on 10 hits and 4 walks and lasted only four innings. The start prior to that against the Twins he allowed 10 runs, eight of which were earned. Is he the ace we all thought he was at the beginning of the season or is he destined to be a middle of the rotation guy? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the Twins will counter with Brian Duensing. Just like the other two Twins pitchers the Indians will face in this series, Duensing shut them down in their previous matchup, allowing one run in six innings. That was surprising considering Duensing hasn’t been a regular member of the Twins rotation and typically came out of the pen leading up to that game. He’s coming off a decent start against the Red Sox in which he allowed only 2 earned runs in six innings. Will he be able to keep up this run of success? It’s definitely possible considering he doesn’t walk anyone. He hasn’t walked a batter since July 19th (16.2 innings of work).

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Tags: Brian Duensing Corey Kluber Ezequiel Carrera Joe Mauer Josh Willingham Justin Masterson Minnesota Twins Samuel Deduno Scott Diamond Shin Soo Choo Zach McAllister