The Indians Keys to the Road

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The Tribe is Alive!! The Cleveland Indians are coming off of a season best six game winning streak. They take to the road Friday as they begin ten game road trip. They will play 4 games at Texas, 2 at Kansas City, and they finish with 4 in Boston. This is going to be true test for the Indians. With as much success as the Indians have had at home with a record of 21-11, the opposite can be said for their road performance. They are 9-19 on the road so far in 2014. The Indians need to come away with a winning record on this road trip, because their schedule when they return does not get any easier. They will begin a home stand vs. The LA Angels and the Detroit Tigers starting on Monday June 16th. May was a great month for many of the Indians hitters. In May, Bourn, Aviles, and Chisenhall all hit above .300, with Lonnie leading the charge with a .373 average. Yan Gomes and Asdrubal Cabrera also had some good at-bats in May. Gomes hit .282 and Cabrera hit .274 for the month. The Indians definitely need the hitting to continue. They will need to score a lot of runs over this road trip to ensure some much needed road victories. Jason Kipnis has returned from the DL and hopefully he can regain some of his All-Star form on this trip. If the Indians can continue to hit, they are as dangerous as any team in baseball. Scoring runs on this road trip is also going to help the Indians starting rotation. The Indians starters need to pitch deep into games. The Indians will play 17 days in a row starting on Friday. The worst thing that could happen is for the bullpen to be used a lot early in this stretch. The Indians have the 4th best bullpen in the American League, however that also have the 2nd most innings pitched. (Stats courtesy of http://espn.go.com/mlb/statistics). This shows that the starting pitchers are not getting deep into games. Indians starters need to pitch well into the 6th and 7th innings during this road trip. A blow out is what needs to be avoided, that way the bullpen can stay fresh over this 17 day grind. The Indians know what they are going to get from Tomlin, Masterson, and Kluber. The keys to starting pitching will be focused on Bauer and TJ House. House has pitched well so far in 4 starts this season. He doesn’t have a win to show for it, but his ERA is a manageable 3.79. House has good command with 13k’s and only 5 walks. He is going to get hit, but his job will be limiting the damage once runners reach base. (Stats courtesy of http://espn.go.com/mlb/statistics) Bauer has looked very sharp in his return to the majors. He has great stuff as seen in his 29 K’s in only 22 innings pitched. Bauer’s problem is between his ears. It’s all mental with Bauer. Hopefully he has that part of his game under control. One or two blowups from him could ruin the bullpen, and worse, get him sent back to Triple A. On this 10 game road trip, I am looking for the Indians to go get 6 or 7 wins. Going 5-5 wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, but they have a very tough home stand when they return. They will need to score a lot of runs, especially when they are in Boston. If they can get decent pitching and a lot of runs, they can come back with a winning record, and that is the key to making the playoffs….WINNING….   Written by Rick Giavonette For more follow me on Twitter – @CST_RickG

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