Hand gave up two earned runs on three hits and one walk while recording just two outs Wednesday, taking the blown save and the loss in the deciding game of the AL Wild Card Series against the Yankees. A clean ninth inning would have forced a Game 3, but Hand got into trouble right away, giving up a walk to Giancarlo Stanton followed by singles to Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres. He then struck out Brett Gardner before allowing a sacrifice fly to Gary Sanchez that tied the game. DJ LeMahieu then singled home the winning run. Cleveland has a $10 million team option for 2021 or it can buy Hand out for $1 million.
Hand was perfect over 1.1 innings, striking out one and earning the save Sunday versus the Pirates. Hand finished 2020 as the MLB saves leader with 16 in 23 appearances. He also recorded a hold, a 2-1 record, 2.05 ERA and 0.77 WHIP across 22 innings. The 30-year-old closer will look to continue his strong campaign for Cleveland during their postseason run.
Hand struck out two in a perfect ninth inning against the White Sox on Thursday en route to his 15th save of the season. Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu and James McCann went down in order against Hand, the first two on strikeouts. His 15 saves lead baseball, and Hand now has a 2.18 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 28 strikeouts to go along with a pair of wins. It looked early on like James Karinchak was going to usurp Hand in the ninth inning, but Hand held steady and has ended up as the No. 2 closer in fantasy baseball behind only Liam Hendriks.
Hand (2-1) threw a scoreless ninth inning to become the pitcher of record in the Indians' 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday. A Jordan Luplow game-winning home run gave Hand his second win of the season. In fact, Hand has racked up both wins and four saves through his previous eight appearances, allowing only one run over that stretch. He lowered his season ERA to 2.29 with Wednesday's performance.
Hand worked around a hit to throw a scoreless ninth inning against the Tigers on Friday to earn his 13th save of the season. He struck out two. The lefty needed 20 pitches, but he eventually shut the door and preserved the shutout after Zach Plesac and James Karinchak tossed eight scoreless innings. Early on, it looked like Karinchak might seize hold of the closer role, but Hand tightened his grip on the job with a stellar performance and has ended up as one of the better closer picks in fantasy baseball this season.
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