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☆ 2016 ALCS ☆ Toronto Blue Jays vs CLEVELAND INDIANS ☆

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE in OCTOBER PART II .......

 

Welcome to the American League Championship Series from Cleveland, Ohio.

 

Friday 14 - 8 pm Estrada vs Kluber

Saturday 15 - 4 pm TBA vs Bauer

 

Monday 17 - 8 pm Tomlin vs TBA

Tuesday 18

Wednesday 19

 

Friday 21

Saturday 22

 

Starting times and pitching matchups provided when available.

 

GO TRIBE...."If you watch the way they go about their business every day, we might not be the most talented team in this league, I don't know," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

 

"But that doesn't mean we can't win. And I think everybody in here believes that. We get to keep playing. That's the best thing I can say. We get to keep playing. Hopefully, when it's time to go home, it can be on our terms."

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The words are printed on yellowed pages of history books. The reams of new-age statistics flood into apps and computer programs. Heck, even the unexplainable phenomenon known as the gut feeling roils the stomach. A big part of the reason we love baseball so much is that it's so consistently undefinable. But at this time of year, one thing rings true: If you're going to win in October, you'd better get hot.

 

While the weather on the shores of Lake Erie isn't expected to be particularly balmy on Friday for Game 1 of the 2016 American League Championship Series, which is set for 8 p.m. ET (on TBS and, in Canada, SportsNet and RDS), the hometown Indians and the visiting Blue Jays are.

In fact, they're smoldering.

 

Neither club has lost a game this postseason heading into this showdown for the AL pennant and a shot at the World Series. Both have looked brilliant in dispatching their foes. Both are getting it done in all phases of the game and have shown the incessant hunger that comes with a talented roster that's been grinding all year to get to this point.

 

"We definitely feel good with where we're at," Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson said shortly after dashing home for the winning run in Toronto's 7-6 victory that clinched its AL Division Series sweep over Texas on Sunday. "We're pitching well and we're playing good defense, and right now we've been able to hit the homer. And that's big."

 

It's been huge for Toronto, which also had to win the AL Wild Card Game against Baltimore to get here. And it's been huge for the Indians, who closed out the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday night, winning 4-3 and silencing a Boston crowd that wanted to see retiring franchise icon David Ortiz play in at least one more autumn game.

 

Now, these two teams face each other Friday at Progressive Field, and someone will lose a game, whether it takes the regular old nine innings or more. And don't be surprised if there are some extra frames along the way. They already tangled in a 19-inning game on July 1. That's how evenly matched they are.

 

Cleveland (94-67 in the regular season) earned home-field advantage in this series by virtue of winning the AL Central, while Toronto (89-73) finished in second place behind Boston in the AL East. But in seven head-to-head meetings over the course of the 162-game schedule, the Tribe won four and the Blue Jays won three.

 

They've got potentially seven more games with a pennant on the line, and neither team comes into this series at full health, which makes it even more intriguing with how well they've played.

 

Toronto, for example, lost pitcher Francisco Liriano to a concussion in the ALDS, and while the left-hander is improving, his availability for the ALCS is not certain. Second baseman Devon Travis has been dealing with a bone bruise in his right knee since being a late scratch in the Game 2 win over Texas. Donaldson has been battling hip problems since September, although you'd never guess it by watching him play or hearing him talk about it lately.

 

Cleveland has been without star outfielder Michael Brantley for most of the year and has made its October run without two of its best starting pitchers: Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Both have been out with injuries, although there's a chance Salazar could be back this series.

 

There are more similarities. Take the front offices of the two teams, for example. The Blue Jays got the nickname "Cleveland North" after former Indians president Mark Shapiro left Cleveland last year to become Toronto's president. Shapiro then hired Indians executives Ross Atkins and Andrew Miller to become his general manager and vice president of business operations.

 

In other words, these teams know each other very well. Cleveland is well aware of how powerful the Blue Jays' lineup can be.

 

Toronto finished fourth in the bigs with 223 homers and feature eight players with double-digit dingers: Edwin Encarnacion with 42, Donaldson with 37, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Saunders with 24 each, Bautista with 22, Russell Martin with 20, Justin Smoak with 14 and Travis with 11. The Jays kept bashing the ball against the Rangers, tying an ALDS record by having seven players homer. Overall this postseason, Toronto has 10 homers and its opponents have three.

 

"What we do -- we get criticized a lot for it -- we rely upon that home run ball," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You know what? Whether you like it or not, that's the kind of players we have."

Cleveland, meanwhile, has relied on every bit of its roster to produce wins. The Indians have gotten spectacular play from Jose Ramirez and rookie Tyler Naquin, who weren't expected to be everyday players when the season began. Late acquisitions Brandon Guyer and Coco Crisp have chipped in, with Crisp's home run helping spark the team to the Game 3 win in Boston on Monday.

 

Starter Corey Kluber, who figures to get the ball in Game 1 of the ALCS against Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays, has been the steady staff ace, as usual, and the midsummer trade for reliever Andrew Miller, a true stopper, has solidified the bullpen for this stirring run.

 

"If you watch the way they go about their business every day, we might not be the most talented team in this league, I don't know," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

 

"But that doesn't mean we can't win. And I think everybody in here believes that. We get to keep playing. That's the best thing I can say. We get to keep playing. Hopefully, when it's time to go home, it can be on our terms."

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Oh tickets for this series sold out in 20 minutes after going on for sale in Cleveland.

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Tried to get tickets for Saturday's game, kept giving error message that the volume of transactions was too high.

 

Oh well

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My happy ass will be downtown on Saturday with a 90% chance on the forecast of being hammered drunk.

 

Fuck Toronto, we'll go through them again on the way to another championship.

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Toronto will be a better challenge than Boston was in the short series -but- the Indians have a few things going for them which must come through :

 

1. Home field - huge! Ask Boston who blew it, should have had it.

2. Kluber must win his games vs Toronto's best, he can do it.

3. Bauer and Tomlin must continue to stay hot at the right time.

4. The offense might have to out slug Toronto in a few games as a team not just a few guys.

5. The bullpen shuts Toronto down.

6. Play solid defense, run the bases, out manage anyone, oh yeah they can do that.

 

Do that and they have a shot, but then again it is baseball and strange things can happen. I can't wait.

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ALCS PITCHERS ANNOUNCED

 

Toronto Blue Jays

1.Marco Estrada (Postseason Stats: 8.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

2.J.A. Happ (Postseason Stats: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

3.Aaron Sanchez (Postseason Stats: 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

4.Marcus Stroman (Postseason Stats: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

 

Cleveland Indians

1.Corey Kluber (Postseason stats: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

2.Trevor Bauer (Postseason stats: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

3.Josh Tomlin (Postseason stats: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

4.Mike Clevinger (Postseason stats: N/A) ?

 

The Cleveland Indians, coming into 2016, were seen as having one of the best rotations in all of baseball. Now, with the injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, the rotation has gone from one of the best to one that is just pretty good. However, with Corey Kluber being the only real source of consistent excellence, the rotation is one bad outing from Bauer or one too many home runs given up by Tomlin away from imploding. However, if the ALDS was any indication, the rotation for Cleveland should be nails going forward.

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ALCS PITCHERS ANNOUNCED

 

Toronto Blue Jays

1.Marco Estrada (Postseason Stats: 8.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

2.J.A. Happ (Postseason Stats: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

3.Aaron Sanchez (Postseason Stats: 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

4.Marcus Stroman (Postseason Stats: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

 

Cleveland Indians

1.Corey Kluber (Postseason stats: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

2.Trevor Bauer (Postseason stats: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

3.Josh Tomlin (Postseason stats: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

4.Mike Clevinger (Postseason stats: N/A) ?

 

The Cleveland Indians, coming into 2016, were seen as having one of the best rotations in all of baseball. Now, with the injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, the rotation has gone from one of the best to one that is just pretty good. However, with Corey Kluber being the only real source of consistent excellence, the rotation is one bad outing from Bauer or one too many home runs given up by Tomlin away from imploding. However, if the ALDS was any indication, the rotation for Cleveland should be nails going forward.

Game 4 was 'written in pencil' which means subject to change. If they are behind (hopefully not) they could pitch Kluber .

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On a related note.......a rookie for the Toronto Maple Leafs just scored 4 goals in his very first ever NHL game.

Sidney Crosby has never had 4 goal game.

Wayne Gretsky only had one in his entire career.

 

Point is: I would root for Toronto to win the NHL......but leave winning baseball to us here stateside.

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On a related note.......a rookie for the Toronto Maple Leafs just scored 4 goals in his very first ever NHL game.

Sidney Crosby has never had 4 goal game.

Wayne Gretsky only had one in his entire career.

 

Point is: I would root for Toronto to win the NHL......but leave winning baseball to us here stateside.

I followed Lemieux who had about 11 regular season plus the great one Gretzky had 9 regular season 4 goal games plus 2 playoff.

 

Gretzky most three-or-more goal games, career: 50 -- 37 three-goal (hat trick) games; nine four-goal games; four five-goal games

 

And 5 goal games have been done 60 times by 44 different players but Lemieux was the ONLY one to do it 5 different ways....and I saw it on TV in 1988!

 

But Syd the Kid? Too much concussion time for him to challenge the two above, Lemieux was the best all around in my opinion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now the Indians will need a few hat tricks from guys that need to get hot....Napoli?

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I followed Lemieux who had about 11 regular season plus the great one Gretzky had 9 regular season 4 goal games plus 2 playoff.

That is counter to what I heard on the radio today....they said Gretsky had ONE 4 goal game in his career....but, in double checking I see that must be wrong....because I see that Gretsky had 4 game in which he scored at least 5 goals

Gretzky most three-or-more goal games, career: 50 -- 37 three-goal (hat trick) games; nine four-goal games; four five-goal games

 

And 5 goal games have been done 60 times by 44 different players but Lemieux was the ONLY one to do it 5 different ways....and I saw it on TV in 1988!

It says on Wiki that a guy named Joe Malone is the only person to have 5 goals in a game 5 times. It says Lemieux and Gretsky each did it 4 times.

 

But Syd the Kid? Too much concussion time for him to challenge the two above, Lemieux was the best all around in my opinion.

Again, the radio says that Crosby has never had 4 in a game. He is not on the list I see of guys that scored 5 goals...so perhaps that is so.

FYI....only 1 American....Mark Pavelich has ever scored 5 goals in a game.

4 Swedes, 2 Russians, 2 Slovakians, 1 Finn, 1 American, all the rest Canadians.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now the Indians will need a few hat tricks from guys that need to get hot....Napoli?

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Staying up late for it tonight and very much looking forward to the 9pm kick off time on Saturday!

 

GO TRIBE

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My happy ass will be downtown on Saturday with a 90% chance on the forecast of being hammered drunk.

 

Fuck Toronto, we'll go through them again on the way to another championship.

A friend who I went to Cleveland with last year text me to say how much he wished we were going to be there this weekend. Place should be be rocking.

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ALCS GAME 1 LINES (vegasinsider.com)

 

10/14 8:05 PM

 

901 Toronto open +135 consensus now +125

902 Cleveland open -145 consensus now -135 - the home team favorite

 

Total open 8 consensus now 7' low number with Kluber pitching

 

Pitchers: (TOR) Marco Estrada ® (CLE) Corey Kluber ®

TV: TBS | FAIR, WIND OUT TO LEFT 5-10. GAME TEMP 56, RH 50%

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0-0 top 3 but both teams getting some hits in plus some timely DPs.

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0-0 top 5 with 5 & 3 hits each, the ball just isn't carrying. ...70 Kluber pitches coming in...maybe good for the Indians bullpen?

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CLE 2-0 top 8 and Miller time, Kluber & Lindor the heros so far......

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CLE 2-0 top 8 and Miller time

We gave up what for Miller Time? Just Nasty

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Early on the Blue Jays kept getting two runners on base so to shut them out was great. Same again tonight please :)

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Can someone explain something to an uneducated Englishman please

 

In the first inning the Blue Jays had a double play but when the fielder at second caught the ball he wasn't standing on the bag so why was the runner out? He then threw it to first where the fielder was on the bag and both runners were out

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Can someone explain something to an uneducated Englishman please

In the first inning the Blue Jays had a double play but when the fielder at second caught the ball he wasn't standing on the bag so why was the runner out? He then threw it to first where the fielder was on the bag and both runners were out

You merely need to tap the base while holding the ball. Happens fast. A toe drag as your in the process of throwing is all it takes.

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We gave up what for Miller Time? Just Nasty

 

Basically prospects for a proven commodity. .....the nastiest LHP out of the bullpen in MLB.

 

A switch from previous Indians teams trading Cy Young winners for prospects, this trade might really pay off!

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Maybe it was the layoff or the law of averages or the Laz Diaz strike zone or, you know, good pitching in big spots from Corey Kluber and Co. But the Blue Jays' bountiful bats of the American League Wild Card Game and the AL Division Series rounds were not in attendance for Game 1 of the AL Championship Series, and Toronto is counting on them to return in Game 2 today (4 p.m. ET on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS in Canada).

 

"This game is not easy," Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion said. "We try to do the best we can do, especially when you've got runners in scoring position. You want to bring them in, but sometimes it doesn't happen. We're just going to try to get them [saturday]."

 

It's who the Blue Jays are going to go against that has become an interesting Game 2 storyline.

You'll remember, of course, that the way the Indians were initially constructed called for a Carlos Carrasco or, failing that, a Danny Salazar sighting in an October Game 2. But that was before Carrasco got hit in the right hand and Salazar suffered a right flexor strain, ravaging a once-great rotation.

 

Plan C was Trevor Bauer, but his drone hobby got the best of him in advance of Game 1, when he lacerated his right pinkie finger repairing his unmanned aircraft, necessitating 10 stitches and a bump back to Monday night's Game 3.

 

So, enter Josh Tomlin, whose rise up the ranks in the Tribe's rotation has been a rapid one that now pits him against 20-game winner J.A. Happ at a time when the Indians are trying to build a commanding edge that they can take with them through customs.

 

"It really doesn't affect me at all," Tomlin said. "It will be on my fifth day, I'll be on normal rest. When I found out I was going [saturday], I stuck to the game plan that I was going to do Monday and go out there and compete and win a game."

 

The pressure is on the Blue Jays to win this one, because while 18 of 46 Game 1 losers in the ALCS have gone on to win it, only three teams in 25 tries have fallen in an 0-2 hole and come back.

If we add in the National League component, it's just five teams in 46 tries in the LCS.

 

Toronto stranded seven runners in the first six innings Friday night, before Francisco Lindor broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth. The Blue Jays relied on the home run to produce 46 percent of their offense in 2016, so it's no secret that they can thrive via the long ball. They'll need it to even things up in Game 2, and the good news is they will be facing Tomlin on the heels of the highest homer rate (1.9 per nine innings) of his career.

 

That said, Tomlin pitched in a tough Fenway environment of Game 3 of the ALDS and turned in five strong innings in which he allowed two runs on four hits, none of which cleared the wall. Happ, meanwhile, pitched around traffic in his Game 2 ALDS start against the Rangers, giving up nine hits and walking a batter, but only allowing one run in five innings.

 

Neither of these guys is going to light up the radar gun. Happ and Tomlin are a study in solid results with less-than-scintillating stuff.

 

"You learn how to pitch with whatever you have," Happ said.

 

The Indians are making the best of what they have left on their pitching staff, and that's why winning Game 1 with their ace -- indeed, their only truly bankable rotation weapon -- was so vital for them. In Game 2, all eyes will again be on their use (or lack thereof) of Andrew Miller out of the bullpen after his 31-pitch effort in Game 1 and with an off-day looming. Cleveland manager Terry Francona has deployed Miller as a cure-all, and that puts all the more emphasis on the need for Toronto to get good hacks off Tomlin early.

 

The Blue Jays will have a big extra hand on deck in their 'pen, with Francisco Liriano having served his mandatory time nursing the concussion suffered in the ALDS. At the same time, they were unsure of the status of second baseman Devon Travis, whose continued right knee issues prompted an early exit from Game 1 and an MRI exam.

 

For all the storylines that pervade a series, right now the only one that truly matters is whether Toronto will have better luck finding the big hit that evaded the club against Kluber. Tomlin is stingy on the walk front, but that also means he's in and around the zone, and the Blue Jays need to pounce on any and all mistakes.

 

"That's what playoff baseball comes down to," Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar said. "Who is going to get the big hit?"

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10/15 4:05 PM - The Money Lines on today's game (vegasinsider.com)

 

905 Toronto open - 125 now concensus -126 - the road favorite today, close game

906 Cleveland open +115 now consensus +115

 

TOTAL RUNS - 8½ OVER/ UNDER, no Kluber today

 

Pitchers: (TOR) J.A. Happ (L) (CLE) Josh Tomlin ®

Overnight Pitching Change: Cleveland - J. Tomlin for T. Bauer | TV: TBS | PARTLY CLOUDY, WIND OUT TO CENTER 11-16, GUSTY. GAME TEMP 72, RH 57% HEAT INDEX 73 - A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN CLEVELAND!

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Gusty winds blowing out toward center, hmmmmm expect a bunch of HRS today? Bet the over?

 

And who does that favor?

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Game on! Hopefully this young team just keeps charging ahead.....that tends to unnerve teams as much as anything.

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