What night for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers somehow win the lottery for the third time since The Decision and the Indians win two straight against the Tigers (and I’m not sure which was more unlikely).
Tonight’s story was how the Indians continue to own Justin Verlander (or least as much as you can own a rival’s ace). And it’s a trend which has been carrying on the Tribe for the last decade or so.
The AL Central hasn’t been home to many aces, but the few that have resided in the division—Verlander, Max Scherzer, Mark Buehrle and Johan Santana—have all struggled against the Tribe. Take a look at their career numbers against the Indians:
Verlander – 18-15, 4.37 ERA
Scherzer – 8-4, 4.44 ERA
Santana – 8-7, 3.49 ERA
Buehrle – 16-17, 4.75 ERA
Most of those stats are completely irrelevant to this year’s club, but it’s a fun note. And, at least in Verlander and Scherzer’s case, it’s something that could play a role in their mindset if they have to face the Indians again in a key late-season game. Verlander’s ERA against the Tribe is his worst against any opponent he’s faced at least five times, and when you face a team 18 times per year, that’s definitely a stat he’s aware of. Hopefully the Indians can stick around long enough to make it something he has to deal with in the August and September.
Other thoughts and notes on the game…
- Victor Martinez struck out twice for the first time this season and just the 10th time since the start of 2013. Amazingly, five of those games have been against the Indians. Unfortunately, he still has a .368 average against the Tribe in that span.
- Trevor Bauer was strong tonight, but he’s allowed five home runs in six career starts for the Indians. He also allowed five in seven starts in Columbus this season. Not a promising trend.
- Nick Swisher looks like he’s back. He picked up two hits and he’s 10-40 in his last 10 games. I know some fans don’t want to hear it, but this is Nick Swisher. He’s a career .253 hitter. He’s an average starter, nothing more. This is what the Indians signed up for when they added him last year, and I’m OK with that.
- As of 10:30 on Tuesday night, the Indians are 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. even if they lose on Wednesday, the sky is not falling.