Indians Looking to Earn Their First Victory of 2018 on Saturday, Three Keys to A Victory against Seattle
On Thursday the Cleveland Indians fell to the Seattle Mariners 2-1 and all it took was a Nelson Cruz homer in the first inning that allowed the Mariners to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. The Tribe didn't get on the board until the 7th inning but it was not enough. Corey Kluber pitched his first complete game but ended up on the losing side.
On Saturday, the Indians will be looking to earn their first victory of the season and will be sending Carlos Carrasco to the hill and will be opposed by Seattle's James Paxton.
Carrasco had his best season in 2017, having a record of 18-6, an ERA of 3.29, logged 200.0 innings pitched and struck out 226 batters. Paxton also had the best season of his career last season, having a record of 12-5, an ERA of 2.98, logged 136.0 innings pitched and struck out 156 batters.
You can listen to the game on WTAM 1100 or WMMS 100.7 and watch the game on SportsTime Ohio.
Here are three keys to victory for the Indians first victory of 2018:
1.) Carrasco Looking to Continue his Success from 2017
As mentioned previously, Carrasco had his best season in 2017. In his first start last season, he earned his first victory of the year. He pitched in 5.2 innings and helped the team emerge victoriously against the Rangers.
Carrasco will be looking to start the team's winning ways when he makes the first start of 2018 for the Indians.
When it comes to Carrasco making his first start of the season he hasn't had the most success holding a record of 2-4 on that day in 8 starts. Recently though, Carlos has had more success when it comes to making his first start of the season.
The Indians will be looking to give Carrasco more run support than they gave Kluber on Opening Day, which tends to be a problem at times for the team.
2.) Get the Bats Going Early
Some key players for the Indians couldn't get their bats going just yet on Thursday night. Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and new addition Yonder Alonso didn't get a hit, but that is nothing to worry about.
Felix Hernandez pitched in 5.1 innings and only allowed two hits and helped shut out the Indians for the first 6 innings.
When the Indians score first, success follows shortly behind as seen in the 2017 season. Unfortunately, in Thursday's outing, Nelson Cruz helped Seattle jump out to the lead in the first inning.
During the 2017 season, the Indians didn't have too much success in one-run games, having a record of 20-15.
3.) Run Support for a Confidence Booster
This could go hand in hand with the previous one but jumping out to an early lead, along with plenty of run support won't only be a confidence boost for the pitching rotation but it will also be a boost for the offense especially this early on in the season.
The Indians last season hit a total of 212 homers and will be looking to be around that number again this season, or improve and have an increase in production.
This will be the second season the team will have Edwin Encarnacion and will be looking to have Alonso fill the void that Carlos Santana left in the off season.
Last season, the Indians were third in the American League with runs scored with 818 runs scored. The New York Yankees (858) and Houston Astros (896) were the only two teams ahead of Cleveland.
If the Indians were to erupt this early in this season against Seattle, a confidence boost will radiate through the team.