Potential Cleveland Game Four Starter Mike Clevinger… Apparently. Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Clevelands have juggled their rotation a little bit and are set to take on the Blue Jays in the ALCS — and we know the game times now, too!
MLB.com reporter Jordan Bastian — the former hardest working man in show business — was one of several Cleveland folks at Progressive Field today speaking to manager Terry Francona, and he tweeted that their rotation for the first four games of the series will look like this:
Francona announces rotation:
Game 1: Kluber
Game 2: Bauer
Game 3: Tomlin
Game 4: Clevinger/bullpen
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 12, 2016
Yes, that’s rookie Mike Clevinger slated for game four — though Bastian later notes that he’ll be in the bullpen prior to then, which may necessitate a “bullpen day” instead.
Of course, the dreadful fan would look at a bullpen day as a chance for Terry Francona to work some kind of magic that baffles the Jays, and might not see it as such a boon to their chances, but let’s be serious! An advantage in a series like this maybe won’t swing the pendulum way in the Blue Jays’ favour, but with Game Four being the middle game of the three-in-a-row that will be played at Rogers Centre, you have to like the Idea of Cleveland wasting a lot of relief arms there.
And if it does happen to be Clevinger alone, there’s still certainly chance of that. In the big leagues he pitched into the sixth inning only twice this season, in ten starts. He walked 29 in 53.0 innings, posted an ERA of 5.26, and allowed 1.36 home runs for every nine innings.
Josh Tomlin, who will start Game Three, is better, but not exactly by leaps and bounds. He posted a 4.40 ERA this year, didn’t strike out a tonne, was prone to the long ball (though stingy with the walk), and surrendered 7 earned runs over 10.1 innings in two starts against the Jays.
But Jays fans shouldn’t get to ahead of themselves or full of glee. It’s still a big task ahead, with Corey Kluber getting the call in Game One and Trevor Bauer in Game Two — a reversal of how Cleveland started their series against the Red Sox. And that doesn’t even mention the bullpen, and Andrew Miller — who Francona is obviously not afraid to use in any situation, and whose left-handedness isn’t something that’s going to make the Jays’ right-hand-heavy salivate at the thought of facing him.
Sort of like Cole Ham… oh, that’s right, they fucking ripped Cole Hamels to shreds! And Yu Darvish!
Could the Jays do it again? It sure as hell will be fun to find out. Mark Shapiro is ready — telling the Associated Press today (via Sportsnet) that while he’s pleased to see Cleveland having made the ALCS, “I just feel bad that we’re going to have to put an end to it.”
And when will they be putting an end of it? We, of course, can’t possibly know that just yet. But we do have a better idea now of around when the Jays will have a chance to put a nail it their opponents’ coffin: Game One is scheduled for 8 PM ET on Friday, Game Two is now officially set for 4 PM, and Game Three back in Toronto will go at 8 PM on Monday night. The timing of the remaining four games of the series (if necessary) is still up in the air. But who needs em’! Let’s do this!!!
Update: The league has now released the game times for Tuesday and Wednesday’s games in Toronto, and they will both begin at 4:08 PM ET — much to the chagrin of everyone, and to the confusion of those fans who’ve yet to grasp that MLB lets the TV networks control the schedule, and the TV networks a) this year want Chicago in prime time as much as possible, and b) will never want a team from a market they don’t serve to get the choice time-slots at the expense of games that will make more more money for them.
Friday’s Game Six (if necessary) in Cleveland, which will be the only game played that day, goes at 8:08 PM ET.
No start time has been named as yet for a potential Game Seven, as that will hinge on whether or not the NLCS is wrapped up by then. Game Seven in the AL, if necessary, would go on the same day as Game Six in the NL, if that series is still undecided at that point, meaning the Jays and Cleveland would still likely get the early game — otherwise they would likely get 8 PM. But lets beat these fuckers before that becomes an issue, eh?