The Cleveland Indians will look to bounce back against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday after suffering a lopsided 13-2 loss late last night. Corey Kluber will head to the hill for his second start of 2018 and will look to build on his dazzling start to the year. While he received the loss on Opening Night, Kluber had an eight-inning complete game in which he only allowed a two-run blast to Nelson Cruz in the first inning.
Opposite the Indians’ ace will be Tyler Skaggs, who went 6.1 innings in his first start of the campaign. Skaggs didn’t allow a run in that performance and struck out six batters.
Let’s look at the three keys to an Indians victory today:
1. Giving Kluber Run Support- The Cleveland bats were most quiet in the first five games during Corey Kluber’s start, only giving their ace one run. The Tribe left a ton of runners stranded and had a chance to even the game in the ninth before leaving Rajai Davis waiting at third base while Tyler Naquin struck out to end the game. Let’s hope that’s not the case today.
Before yesterday’s contest, the Tribe put up sixteen combined runs in three games. After getting thwarted on Tuesday, they should be hungry for some runs.
2. Jose’s Momentum- Jose Ramirez finally recorded his first hit of 2018 on Tuesday and it was a good one. Ramirez went deep in the first inning to initially give the Indians a 2-0 lead. He would, in fact, score the only Cleveland runs of the game. So there’s the silver lining.
When Ramirez gets going, he is the toughest guy to get out in the lineup. He also helps fuel the rest of the offense and helps give other guys momentum. Maybe the long ball Tuesday night helped break his slump for good.
3. Finding A Rhythm- The Indians have not had a great start to 2018, kicking off the year with a 2-3 record. For every win they earn, they trade a loss. Obviously, that can’t become a trend.
Though the Angels are a tough team when healthy, the Indians would truly benefit from a series win Wednesday before taking on the rebuilding Detroit Tigers in their opening home series.