Tribe Thoughts: JRam's Bomb, Setting the Playoff Rotation, Who Do You Trust in the Pen?
Tuesday night was one of the most exciting night's in Major League Baseball in some time, as in a matter of minutes three teams, including the Indians, clinched playoff spots.
* Jose Ramirez's three-run blast off Jose Ruiz in the 10th inning capped off a wild comeback for the Indians, who trailed 3-1 entering the 10th after Phil Maton allowed a pair of runs in the top of the frame to the White Sox.
Ramirez's homer reminded many of the famous Jason Giambi homer which won the Indians a huge game back in 2013 against the same White Sox.
* Making the playoffs for the Indians shouldn't have even had this much drama, but losing eight straight made things a lot more hairy than they should have been for the Tribe.
Now that they are in, they can set up their rotation for the playoffs, starting with tonight as they will throw out the soon-to-be AL Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber.
The White Sox have to be nervous about facing the Indians in the first round, as the Indians have won six of eight against Chicago this season, and the Sox have scored four runs or more against the Indians in just two of the eight games they have played.
* Another key to the playoffs for the Indians is how they will set up their bullpen, and what pitchers will get chances and be called upon in key situations.
There are four relievers that the team would have no problem going to in key situations, that being closer Brad Hand, James Karinchak, Nick Wittgren and Oliver Perez.
After these four, it's anyone's guess as to who Sandy Alomar and the coaching staff would turn to if there's a need for a pitcher with the game on the line.
It's not out of the question for the team to put Triston McKenzie and/or Aaron Civale in the pen, and have them available for a couple batters if need be.
Cal Quantrill also proved his worth Tuesday going four innings of scoreless ball against a very good Sox lineup.
The last thing the Indians can afford is for a reliever to have a bad night, and picking the right one in a playoff game could make or break this team's season.
* Can this Indians team go on a run like that of 2016? Why not? The team's are somewhat similar, and with the pitching the Indians have they are actually in a BETTER position than that of four years ago.
It's not like that 2016 club was lighting the world on fire entering the playoffs, as they went 4-4 in their last eight games, and while they went 17-11 in the last month plus two games in October, most felt this team would be easily dispatched in the first round against Boston.
That 2016 team was beat up, and now with five games left the Indians have the luxury of setting up their rotation to make sure they get their best two pitchers in games one and two against the White Sox, that being Bieber and Zach Plesac.
If the Indians can get past the White Sox in the best-of-three, they could get on that roll that could lead to a long October run.
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