When and where: September 18, 2019, Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH, 7:10 PM ET
After splitting even with the Baltimore Orioles, the Detroit Tigers march into Progressive Field on Wednesday for a head-to-head showdown with the Cleveland Indians. This is obviously a must-win series for the Indians after losing to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. As for the Tigers, who are widely recognized as the worst team in baseball, this is an opportunity for them to add a significant win to their resume before the season wraps up. Spencer Turnbull is expected to get the starting nod for the Tigers opposite of Cleveland’s Aaron Civale.
Tigers feisty enough to split with the Orioles
The Tigers got a nice consolation prize for their efforts over the weekend against the Orioles—a 2-2 split in a four-game series pitting the two worst teams in the league against one another. Even a split feels like a win these days for the Tigers, who haven’t won a full series since knocking off the Los Angeles Angels on July 31.
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While their games seem meaningless on the surface, the struggles have given the ball club a chance to take a long look at up-and-coming talent that could potentially help the team improve in the future. Granted, it could take a miracle at this point considering they are having a historically bad season—fifth in the AL Central division with a 45-104 record.
Turnbull, a second-year pitcher, will try his hand at upsetting the Indians when he starts on the mound on Wednesday. The 26-year-old righty is throwing a 4.77 ERA in a year where he’s retired 126 batters and amassed a 3-15 record. He has been handed a loss in seven of his last nine outings. Most recently, he was defeated by the Yankees after giving up seven hits and four runs in a five-inning effort.
Indians lose Kipnis for the season
The hits keep on coming for the Tribe’s infield.
With third baseman Jose Ramirez still recovering from a right hand injury, the team learned on Tuesday they would be losing second baseman Jason Kipnis for the season. The former two-time MLB All-Star suffered a broken hand after taking an awkward swing at a pitch during Sunday’s finale against the Twins.
It’s a rough time for the Indians to be losing key talent considering they’re desperately trying to climb back into the wild card race. They are currently trailing the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays with an 87-63 record on the season. The Indians had their four-game winning streak snapped and lost a pivotal three-game series to the Twins over the weekend, which was significant to their playoff hopes.
Civale hopes to keep the team hanging by a thread when he starts at pitcher on Wednesday against the Tigers. The 24-year-old rookie is throwing a 1.93 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and a 3-3 record. In eight starts on the mound, he has limited every opponent to no more than two runs. He recently held the Twins to one run in five innings, while accumulating five strikeouts.
- Tigers are 1-5 in Turnbull’s last 6 road starts.
- Tigers are 1-9 in Turnbull’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Tigers are 0-9 in Turnbull’s last 9 starts vs. American League Central.
- Tigers are 0-4 in Turnbull’s last 4 Wednesday starts.
- Indians are 41-14 in their last 55 Wednesday games.
- Indians are 38-14 in their last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Indians are 37-14 in their last 51 vs. American League Central.
- Indians are 38-15 in their last 53 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.