The Cleveland Indians will look to try to take the first two games of the series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night. Adam Plutko will take the hill for the Tribe to counter Chicago’s James Shields.
Cleveland claimed a 4-0 victory yesterday over the White Sox as Carlos Carrasco pitched a seven-inning gem. Carrasco only gave up two hits before handing the lead over to the trio of Zach McCallister, Oliver Perez, and Neil Ramirez. The White Sox didn’t record a single hit off of the bullpen, a huge boost to that group’s confidence.
Let’s talk about the three keys to another Indians victory.
1. Strong Plutko Showing- After two good starts that saw Adam Plutko surrender just three runs over the course of 13.1 innings, the righty ran into trouble in his last outing. Against these same White Sox, Plutko allowed five earned runs in five innings. It was a wild game that saw him still earn the win.
Cleveland will need a good outing from Plutko to continue their success. They may not need an eight-inning gem of sorts but a quality start of five or six innings could help the bullpen out. That group is starting to build confidence and not overexposing them is what is important right now.
2. Chisenhall’s Hot Return- Since Lonnie Chisenhall has made his return to the Cleveland outfield, he’s provided a nice boost for the Tribe’s offense. It’s been obvious how much it’s helped the team, especially with their confidence at the plate.
Chisenhall is batting .374 since his return from the disabled list, going 9-for-24 at the dish. He’s looked very patient and poised batting since his injury that held him out for an extended time period. With the team already firing offensively, it’s nice to get yet another weapon in the Tribe’s arsenal.
3. Be Aggressive Against Shields- Chicago is sending James Shields to the mound on Tuesday. Shields, who was once a top starter with the Tampa Bay Rays, has become part of a launching pad. The Indians need to be aggressive and swing away against Shields to find success.
Shields has allowed ten home runs this season, putting him in the running for most dingers allowed by a starter this year. He’s not always on with his pitch placement and this Cleveland offense could hurt him right out of the gates.