Wednesday is the middle game of a three-game set between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Mets. On Tuesday, the Mets kicked off the series with a dominating win. A 4-run seventh inning combined with a great start from Steven Matz led to a New York 9-2 victory. These are big games for both teams, as the Indians and Mets are both fighting for playoff spots.
The Indians are 74-52, sitting 2.5 games behind first place in the AL Central. The Mets are 65-60, putting them 8.5 games back. The real story for each team is the wild card. The Indians currently hold the first wild card in the AL, by one game over the Rays and Athletics. The Mets are on the outside looking in of the wild card in the National League, only 1.5 games behind the Cubs for the second spot.
For the Indians, Adam Plutko will take the hill for his 13th start of the season. So far this year, Plutko is 5-3 with a 4.67 earned run average. He is coming off a second start against the Yankees in which he dominated one of the best teams in baseball. He’s 2-0 against the Bronx Bombers and has only given up 5 runs in 12 innings.
Last Thursday he went six strong and gave up three runs in a big 19-5 Cleveland win. There is room for concern however, as his road splits are not nearly as favorable as his home ones. He has a 5.29 ERA on the road with an opposing batting average of .314.
For the Mets, prized trade acquisition Marcus Stroman will take the hill for his 25th start of the season. Stroman, on the season, is 7-11 with a 3.21 earned run average. However, since coming over to New York, Stroman has been pitching great. While his ERA is over 5, the Mets have won every single one of his three starts with the team.
Stroman is recording over a strikeout an inning since coming to New York, but what is getting him in trouble is his walks. In his three starts, he has a BB/9 of over 5. That simply isn’t going to work if he wants to keep helping the Mets make a playoff push.
Stroman has faced the Indians twice this season already, as a member of the Blue Jays, and despite the 0-2 record, he’s pitched fantastically. On April 7th he went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs with six strikeouts and one walk. On July 24th, his last start with the Blue Jays, he went 7 innings, and only gave up one run but still got the loss.
Batter To Watch
Yasiel Puig has been a terrific addition for the Indians since acquiring him at the deadline. He has hits in 10 of his 13 games in a Cleveland uniform, six of which were multi-hit games. On the season he’s slashing .265/.318/.488 with 24 home runs and 71 RBIs.
Stroman has dominated the Indians this season and got no run support while doing so. Now he’s on a team with a much better lineup, and he has still yet to lose in a Met uniform. That won’t start now. Take the New York Metropolitans.
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