Looking at the wrong end of a 3-0 series, the Toronto Blue Jays will face elimination tomorrow if they fail to turn things around.
Here we are Blue Jays fans. The team we know and love has been beaten at every turn by Cleveland in this series, and now face a 3-0 deficit. It’s no secret why they have yet to pull a win out as of yet. Scoring three runs in three games will most certainly land any team in deep trouble. Especially in October.
The light at the end of the tunnel may not be very bright at the moment, but there is still a flicker. It may start with Cleveland’s starter tomorrow, Kluber, who is coming off three days rest to pitch game four. Though he’s the ace of the staff, the former Cy Young award winner has never pitched on three days rest in his career. Assuredly the task will still be tough, but it’s hard to determine how he will react to the quick turnaround.
Typically this would be the part where you would normally be inundated with stats breaking down the respective offenses and pitching staff. However, due to the total lack of offense in this series, it would seem to be an exercise in futility. Instead, just repeat to yourself the Red Sox mantra in the 2004 ALCS of “Why not us” to get your day started.
We will find out at 4:08PM if the boys can pick themselves off the mat, and dust themselves off for another run. It could happen.
ALCS Game 4
First Pitch – 4:08 EST
A. Sanchez RHP (2016: 15-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. C. Kluber LHP (2016: 18-9, 3.14 ERA)
With their backs against the wall Toronto will send Aaron Sanchez to the mound for game four. Sanchez was amazing all season while putting up a (15-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 7.5 K/9) record.
Over his career, he has a (1-0, 5.06 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 8.4 K/9) record when facing Cleveland. Which includes a short 4 IP, 5H, 4ER outing this season.
Sanchez has pitched well at home with a (6-1, 3.74 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 7.6 K/9) record in 2016.
The young righty has a (1-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 7.6 K/9) career playoff record. This also includes his uneven start of 5.2 IP, 3H, 6ER in the ALDS against Texas.
Cleveland will counter with their staff ace in Corey Kluber to kick things off. Kluber has put together another great season with his (18-9, 3.14 ERA, 1.056 WHIP, 9.5 K/9) record.
Over his career he has a (1-3, 5.34 ERA, 1.674 WHIP, 8.5 K/9), including (0-1, 6.30 ERA, 2.100 WHIP, 10.8 K/9) over two starts in 2016.
Kluber has a road record of (8-4, 3.03 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 9.5 K/9) this season.
The right-hander will be making his 2nd start of this series, this one on 3 days rest. To this point he holds a (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 8.8 K/9) playoff record, and held Toronto to zero runs on 6H, over 6.1 IP.
*All Pitcher vs Batter Stats provided by ESPN
**Featured Image Credit: Arden Zwelling (twitter)
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.