The red-hot Cleveland Indians will host the Boston Red Sox in the three-game series finale Wednesday afternoon from Progressive Field. The Red Sox are expected to have 28-year old left-hander Brian Johnson on the mound, and 24-year old right-hander Shane Bieber will get the nod for the Indians. The Indians own a 3-1 lead in the season series.
Brian Johnson Makes Spot Start
Brian Johnson will start in this one with Nathan Eovaldi available out of the bullpen. Eovaldi was supposed to start this game however Alex Cora decided to use him in a relief role on Tuesday night. Johnson has struggled in his limited action, posting a terrible 7.32 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP in 19.2 innings pitched. The left-hander has allowed three runs in 7.1 career innings against the Indians.
Watch for Andrew Benintendi as he is a tough out against Shane Bieber, recording 4 hits with three RBI’s and two doubles in six career at-bats against the right-hander. Benintendi is having another strong season, compiling a .287 average with 12 homers and 61 RBI’s, and he is 4 for 12 with three RBI’s against the Indians this season.
J.D. extends his hit streak to 11 games.
Benny rewards him by driving him in with an RBI-double. pic.twitter.com/LyyNeXbNhH
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 12, 2019
Boston is going to have to turn it around quickly if they want to reach the postseason. They have fallen out of contention in the AL East, and they have plummeted to 8.5 games out of a Wildcard position.
The Red Sox are currently averaging 5.71 runs on the season, good for third in the big leagues. The Boston pitching staff holds a subpar 4.83 team ERA, positioning them 21st overall. The Red Sox own a 32-27 road record heading into Tuesday.
Bieber Notches 11K’s in Another Stellar Performance
Shane Beiber will take the mound for the 26th time of the season, aiming for his third straight win. Bieber came through with another outstanding performance last time out, holding the powerful Twins lineup to only two runs in seven innings, leading to the victory to lift his record to 12-4. The second-year right-hander is establishing himself as one of the best young pitchers in the AL, sporting a sharp 3.28 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 156.1 innings pitched on the season. Bieber was roughed up in his only meeting against the Red Sox this season, squandering six runs in five innings, and he has now allowed 15 runs with a 2-1 record in 16 career innings against Boston. Mookie Betts is 1 for 6 against Bieber, while JD Martinez is 1 for 7, and Xander Bogaerts is 2 for 6.
Francisco Lindor continues to reach base in the leadoff position, recording at least one hit in all but two games this month and he has seven walks in his last six games. The 25-year old shortstop features a .300 average with 20 homers and 48 RBI’s. Lindor has fared well against the Red Sox this season, notching 7 hits in 17 at-bats with four runs driven in.
There's something different happening here …
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 13, 2019
The Tribe’ have caught the Twins in the AL Central and they now have a 0.5 game lead entering Tuesday, and their pitching is a big reason why. They have won three consecutive series’ which included a big series win against the Twins this past weekend. Cleveland has been able to consistently shut down their opponents with ace Corey Kluber on the IL for most of the season.
The Indians stand 20th in the Major Leagues with an average of 4.66 runs on the season. The Cleveland pitching is locked in, and they are carrying a strong 3.66 team ERA, placing them third in the big leagues. The Tribe’ are 38-24 in their home ballpark.
The Boston Red Sox are:
- 1-5 in their last 6 games against the Red Sox.
- 0-6 in their last 6 road games.
- 3-12 in their last 15 games overall.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- 8-3 in Bieber’s last 11 starts.
- 6-1 in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record.
- 19-7 in their last 26 home games.