The Indians begin their last series against the White Sox tonight, as Ubaldo Jimenez takes on Hector Santiago. I think it’s pretty obvious that when you hold a slim one-game lead over the second wild card spot, every game is pretty much “must win.” However, tonight the Rangers are taking on the Astros, losers of ten in a row (in part, thanks to the Tribe). The Rangers pummeled them 12-0 last night to gain a half game on the Indians, and tonight Yu Darvish takes the mound for the Rangers. It probably won’t be very pretty.
As for the Indians and White Sox, Jimenez hopes to build upon a phenomenal September – he’s 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. In his most recent start against Houston last Thursday, he gave up 1 ER and 6 hits in 7 innings pitched. He’s faced the White Sox twice this season and he is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. In his most recent appearance against them, on September 14, he gave up 1 ER and 8 hits over 8.1 innings pitched as the Indians won 8-1. On June 29, he gave up 3 ER and 9 hits over 5 innings pitched as the Indians won 4-3.
Hector Santiago’s last start was actually against the Indians on September 13; he has not appeared in a game since then. The White Sox decided to skip him because manager Robin Ventura felt he looked “tired,” and they considered shutting him down for the year. Despite the fears that he was tired (he’s thrown a career-high 142.2 innings this year), he was solid against the Indians, giving up 3 ER on 6 hits over 4 innings pitched, but took the loss 3-1. He faced the Indians one other time this year and it did not go well for him – on June 28 he gave up 5 ER and 7 hits over 2.1 innings pitched as the Indians won 19-10.
The key to the game is a pretty Captain Obvious one – Ubaldo needs to stay in September form, and the Indians need to jump on Santiago early and often.
Use this thread to chat about the game!