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CLEVELAND — Two veteran pitchers nearing the end of
forgettable seasons will oppose each other on the mound Wednesday night as the
Cleveland Indians host the Chicago White Sox in the final contest of their
three-game series.Cleveland’s starter will be 33-year-old Josh Tomlin
(1-5 Will Clark
, 6.49 ERA), while the White Sox starter will be 36-year-old
James Shields (7-16, 4.53).Tomlin, who won 10 games last year and 13 in 2016,
lost his spot in Cleveland’s starting rotation early in this season and has
spent most of the year being used out of the bullpen. In seven starts, he is 0-3
with a 7.68 ERA. In 22 relief appearances, he is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA.Article
continues below ...With Cleveland manager Terry Francona tinkering with his
starting rotation in preparation for the postseason, Tomlin has made some spot
starts recently, the last of those coming Friday, when he got no decision in a
5-4 Cleveland loss to Detroit.Tomlin pitched four innings, allowing two runs and
five hits, with two strikeouts and one walk. His last start against the White
Sox came Oct. 1, 2017, a 3-1 victory in which he pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving
up one run and four hits, with six strikeouts and no walks.Tomlin has made two
appearances against Chicago this year, both in relief. He’s pitched a total of 1
1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, with one strikeout and no walks. In 16
career appearances (13 starts) against the White Sox, Tomlin is 5-5 with a 3.66
ERA.Although the Indians have clinched the American League Central title, their
remaining games are important for some players who might be on the bubble as far
as being on the team’s postseason roster. One of those is side-arming reliever
Adam Cimber, who was acquired from San Diego in a mid-season trade that also
brought closer Brad Hand to Cleveland.Cimber, a right-hander, was very effective
in San Diego, where in 42 appearances he had a 3.17 ERA and averaged 9.5
strikeouts per nine innings. However, in 23 appearances in Cleveland he has a
4.91 ERA with three strikeouts in 14 2/3 frames.“In some cases, he hasn’t
pitched full innings because we have so many left-handers (in the bullpen),”
Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s also been really unlucky. There have
been times when he has made good pitches, but a ball has hit right on the foul
line, or there have been some bloop hits.”Shields is completing his 13th year in
the major leagues. His last start was an 8-6 victory over Baltimore on Friday,
when he pitched six innings, allowing two runs and four hits, with five
strikeouts and one walk. In three starts in September, Shields is 2-1 with a
4.41 ERA.Shields’ last start against Cleveland came Aug. 11, a 3-1 loss in which
he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned), seven hits, with
four strikeouts and no walks. In two starts against the Indians this year, he is
1-1 with a 1.93 ERA. For his career, Shields has started 22 games against
Cleveland and is 5-8 with a 3.79 ERA.The White Sox, who have lost three in a
row, including the first two games of this series, need to win four of their
last 11 games to avoid the fourth 100-loss season in franchise history. The
White Sox are 0-8 versus the Indians at Progressive Field this year and 3-12
against them overall. After the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers won
tiebreaker games to win National League Central and West Divisions,
respectively, the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs got the postseason
started in record-setting fashion.The two teams battled for 13 innings鈥攖he
longest win-or-go-home game in Major League Baseball postseason history鈥攂efore
the Rockies advanced to the Divisional Series with a 2-1 victory.Backup catcher
Tony Wolters drove home the winning run when he singled with two out in the top
of the 13th off of Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs were unable to rally in the bottom
of the inning and they were eliminated on their home field.The Rockies will meet
the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Divisional Series and they will be
joined by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. The Brewers and Dodgers
will have homefield advantage in those best-of-5 series.Postseason
ScheduleWild-Card GamesWednesday, October 3, A's at Yankees, 8 p.m. ET,
TBSDivision SeriesNLDSThurs., Oct. 4, Game 1, Rockies at Brewers, 5:07 p.m., ET
FS1Thurs., Oct. 4 Barry Bonds
, Game 1, Braves at Dodgers, 8:37 p.m. ET, MLBNFri., Oct. 5,
Game 2, Rockies at Brewers, 4:15 p.m. ET, FS1Fri., Oct. 5, Game 2, Braves at
Dodgers, 9:37 p.m. ET, FS1Sun., Oct. 7, Game 3, Brewers at Rockies, 4:37 p.m.
ET, MLBNSun., Oct. 7, Game 3, Dodgers at Braves, 8:07 p.m. ET, FS1Mon., Oct. 8,
Game 4*, Brewers at Rockies, FS1Mon., Oct. 8, Game 4*, Dodgers at Braves,
FS1Wed., Oct. 10, Game 5*, Rockies at Brewers FS1Wed., Oct. 10, Game 5*, Braves
at Dodgers, FS1*If necessaryALDSFriday, October 5, Yankees/A's at Red Sox, Game
1, TBSFriday, October 5, Indians at Astros, Game 1, TBSSaturday, October 6
Yankees/A's at Red Sox, Game 2, TBSSaturday, October 6, Indians at Astros, Game
2, TBSMonday, October 8 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-madison-bumgarner-jersey ,
Red Sox at Yankees/A's, Game 3, TBSMonday, October 8, Astros at Indians, Game 3,
TBSTuesday, October 9, Red Sox at Yankees/A's, Game 4*, TBSTuesday, October 9,
Astros at Indians, Game 4*, TBSThursday, October 11, Yankees/A's at Red Sox,
Game 5*, TBSThursday, October 11, Indians at Astros, Game 5*, TBS*If
necessaryLeague Championship SeriesNLCSFriday, October 12, Game 1, FOX or
FS1Saturday, October 13, Game 2, FOX or FS1Monday, October 15, Game 3, FOX or
FS1Tuesday, October 16, Game 4, FOX or FS1Wednesday, October 17, Game 5*, FOX or
FS1Friday, October 19, Game 6*, FOX or FS1Saturday, October 20, Game 7*, FOX or
FS1*If necessaryALCSSaturday, October 13, Game 1, TBSSunday, October 14, Game 2,
TBSTuesday, October 16, Game 3, TBSWednesday, October 17, Game 4 Juan
Marichal Jersey
, TBSThursday, October 18, Game 5*, TBSSaturday,
October 20, Game 6*, TBSSunday, October 21, Game 7*, TBS*If necessaryWORLD
SERIESTuesday, October 23, Game 1, FOXWednesday, October 24, Game 2, FOXFriday,
October 26, Game 3 , FOXSaturday, October 27, Game 4, FOXSunday, October 28,
Game 5*, FOXTuesday, October 30 Game 6*, FOXWednesday, October 31 Game 7*,
FOXAll games can be live streamed on MLB.TV.Baseball Reference baseball_refMike
Trout, career high in WAR: 10.5 (2012, 2016)Mookie Betts, career high in WAR:
10.6 (2018) HSJ0j7xTyWThe American League postseason gets underway Wednesday
night as the New York Yankees host the Oakland A's in the wild-card game.The
slugging Yankees, who won 100 games this season but still finished eight games
behind the Boston Red Sox, and the powerful A's will play for the right to meet
the Red Sox in the American League Division Series.The Cleveland Indians and
Houston Astros, who represented the American League in the last two World
Series, will meet in the other ALDS.After the four division series are
completed, the two American League winners will meet in the ALCS, while the two
National League survivors will play for the NL pennant.Both league championship
series are best-of-7 formats, as is the World Series.The Boston Red Sox will
have homefield advantage throughout the postseason, while the Milwaukee Brewers
will have that advantage in the National League playoffs.PredictionsAL
Wild-CardNew York Yankees over Oakland A'sALDSBoston Red Sox over New York
Yankees, 3-1Cleveland Indians over Houston Astros, 3-2ALCSBoston Red Sox over
Cleveland Indians, 4-2NLDSMilwaukee Brewers over Colorado Rockies, 3-2Atlanta
Braves over Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1NLCSMilwaukee Brewers over Atlanta Braves,
4-2World SeriesBoston Red Sox over Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2While they won 108
games during the regular season, the Red Sox fattened up on some of the worst
teams in the American League. Many observers don't see the Red Sox winning their
fourth World Series since 2004.There are key issues, including ace starter Chris
Sale's balky left shoulder and the Red Sox vulnerability in the bullpen.However,
the starting lineup has the ability to produce consistently and they have a
couple of big-time producers in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.The belief here
is that Sale will have enough to get through six innings in each of his
postseason starts and manager Alex Cora will manipulate the bullpen so that it
will survive until closer Craig Kimbrel can take over.The Red Sox will celebrate
at Fenway Park, breaking hearts throughout Wisconsin as the Brewers fall just a
bit short.
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