Indians-Blue Jays ALCS Game 4: How to watch, live stream, expert predictions
A victory will send the Indians to the World Series
TORONTO -- The Cleveland Indians are one victory away from clinching their first AL pennant since 1997. The Indians are up 3-0 in the best-of-7 ALCS against the Blue Jays following their Game 3 victory Monday night ( CLE 4, TOR 2). All three games have been close and thrilling.
The ALCS continues Tuesday with Game 4 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Here's how you can watch the potential series clincher.
Now let's take a look at each team's starting pitcher for Game 4.
Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Indians
Not too many folks expected Sanchez to still be in the rotation in the ALCS. The Blue Jays talked all year about monitoring his workload and moving him to the bullpen late in the season, but Sanchez was so good as a starter the team had no choice but to keep him in the rotation. The Blue Jays have instead given him extra rest whenever possible.
"They've given me the opportunity to pitch on six, pitch on sometimes ten [days rest]," Sanchez said on Monday. "So it's something that I've had to deal with all year, so I feel ready and prepared coming into the start. A lot of pitchers don't like it, but having the luxury of doing it throughout the course of the year quite a few times, so it's not anything new, so I'm excited."
Sanchez, who will be starting Game 4 with three extra days of rest, allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Rangers in Game 3 of the ALDS his last time out. His offense picked him up big time. Sanchez did finish the regular season strong, though, allowing no more than one run in each of his last three outings. Two of the three starts came with extra rest.
The Indians saw Sanchez once during the regular season. They roughed him up for five runs (four earned) in only four innings on Aug. 20. There's still not a ton of history here. Mike Napoli has the most career at-bats against Sanchez among Indians players and it's only seven. Brandon Guyer, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez are all 2 for 5 against the hard-throwing righty.
Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA) vs. Blue Jays
Game 3 threw a big wrench in Cleveland's pitching plans. Trevor Bauer had to leave the game after recording only two outs because the cut on his pinky opened up, forcing manager Terry Francona to use six relievers for 8 1/3 innings. With the bullpen taxed, the Indians are going to Kluber on short rest because they can count on him to chew up innings and take the ball deep into the game.
"If something happens with Bauer and we have a little bit of a malfunction in his finger -- not the drone, the finger -- then we would bring Kluber back tomorrow," Francona said before Game 3. "And then that would allow Kluber to pitch a Game 7 if need be. If Trevor is OK, then we slot Corey in two days -- everybody stays on normal rest."
Francona confirmed following Game 3 that yes, Kluber is indeed starting Game 4 on three days of rest, something he has never done before as a big leaguer. Kluber is extremely routine oriented. Moreso than most players. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusted to having his routine altered by starting on short rest. My guess is he'll handle it just fine.
Kluber tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 and he has thrown 13 1/3 scoreless innings in his two postseason starts this year. His two regular-season starts against the Blue Jays were mixed; one was good (two runs in 6 2/3 innings) and one was bad (five runs in 3 1/3 innings). Even on short rest, there's no doubt Kluber is the man the Indians want on the mound with a chance to clinch the pennant.
CBS Sports predictions
Predicting one game between two very good teams in baseball is rather difficult, but we're still gonna give it a go. Here are out predictions for Game 4.
|R.J. Anderson||Mike Axisa||Jonah Keri||Dayn Perry||Bill Reiter||Matt Snyder|
|Score|| 3-1 ||6-3|| 6-1 || 4-3 || 5-1 || 5-1 |
Well, look at that. The majority of us expect the Indians to finish the sweep in Game 4. Not the worst bet with Kluber on the mound, not that Sanchez is some slouch. Intrigue!