By Tom Reisenweber and Rick Green Erie Times-News staff bloggers
From spring training to the first pitch of opening day to the final out of the season, Tom Reisenweber chronicles the Erie SeaWolves with in-depth coverage you won't find anywhere else. Read more about this blog.
It’s postseason prediction time. Baseball bloggers Tom Reisenweber and Rick Green survey the landscape and pick how the playoffs will unfold:
Cleveland over Tampa Bay – The Indians had a huge September going 21-6, including a 10-game winning streak to end the season, and won’t have to face David Price.
Cleveland over Tampa – One-game playoff in Cleveland? Give me the Tribe over the road-wary Rays. Indians starter Danny Salazar will shut down Tampa. Question is, how long will Salazar last.
Detroit over Oakland in 4 – Justin Verlander is showing signs of his oldself but the Tigers won’t need much from him in this series. Detroit splits the first two games in Oakland before winning the series at home.
Detroit over Oakland in five – A’s are underrated, but the Tigers have the offense and starting pitching to shut down Oakland.
Boston over Cleveland in 5 – The hardworking Indians push the Red Sox to the limit but Boston is too tough at Fenway. Game 1 takes place in Boston, where Terry Francona gets a standing ovation when he is introduced.
Cleveland over Boston in five – Gimmie the Tribe. Terry Francona knows what he’s doing against Boston.
Detroit over Boston in 6 – The Motor City Kitties win another pennant behind strong pitching and a big postseason from Miguel Cabrera. Detroit has some bullpen issues, but they don’t get in the way of winning another playoff series.
Cleveland over Detroit in seven – The Indians’ magic run continues. Can they shut down Miguel Cabrera and Co.? We’ll find out.
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati – PNC Park will be rocking and that’ll be too much for the Reds. Cincinnati has the playoff experience but Pittsburgh has the emotion of a city behind them in this elimination game.
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati – Yeah, I’ll stick with the Pirates. Tough call in a good pitching matchup. Pirates get just enough offense to get by the Reds.
Los Angeles over Atlanta in five – The Dodgers and Braves are arguably the top two teams in the National League. Los Angeles has been through major ups and downs this year, while Atlanta has been steady all year. The Dodgers’ clutch hitting wins out in the end.
Los Angeles over Atlanta in four – Dodgers’ pitching staff is quite impressive. They shut down Atlanta.
St. Louis over Pittsburgh in four – The great story of the Pirates is cut short by their division arch nemesis. St. Louis continues to win with whatever talent it has and is primed for another run.
Pittsburgh over St. Louis in six – Pirates’ ride continues. They won the season series and continue to beat St. Louis.
St. Louis over Los Angeles in 5 – The Cardinals win yet another pennant behind a bunch of players you’ve never heard of. St. Louis has an amazing business model in place and it pays off, once again.
Los Angeles over Pittsburgh in five – Pirates too tired and overmatched against L.A. Magical season ends in NLCS.
Detroit over St. Louis in 6 – Sticking with my preseason pick in Detroit. The Tigers pitching has been solid throughout the season and if they can get even half of what Justin Verlander normally is, they will win their fifth World Series title and first since 1984.
Los Angeles over Cleveland in five – I’m impressed with Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the Dodgers’ staff. They have pitching, hitting and bullpen to win it all.
Agree? Disagree? Post your picks in the comments below.
A team that’s gone 9-1 in its past 10 games should gain ground in the standings, right?
An Indians fan probably would think that the Tribe would have narrowed the gap on the Tigers in the AL Central over that stretch.
Unfortunately, the Tigers have been just as hot, also going 9-1.
The two teams meet for a four-game series in Cleveland starting tonight.
The Tigers will send Anibal Sanchez (9-7, 2.59 ERA) to the mound against Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.77) in what should be a good showdown.
On Tuesday, Justin Verlander (11-8, 3.88) will see if he’s back on track, opposing Indians’ ace Justin Masterson (13-7, 3.33). Verlander gave up one run over six innings in his last start, but he walked five. In his two starts before that, he gave up seven earned runs and five earned runs, respectively, in two losses.
Wednesday has the most intrigue, for me. The Indians will call up super prospect Danny Salazar from Triple-A. Salazar made an appearance for the Indians on July 11 against the Jays. He picked up the win, going six innings. He gave up two hits and one run while striking out seven. Salazar will take the spot of Ubaldo Jimenez, who will start Friday.
Salazar will face off against the Tigers’ Doug Fister (10-5, 3.52).
The series wraps up Thursday when Max Scherzer (16-1, 2.85) meets Zach McAllister (4-6, 3.47).
It’s a big series for both teams, but watch out for those Royals, too, who start the day 7.5 games back and have won 9-of-10.
Baseball fans in the Erie area might have needed to rub their eyes this morning when looking at the standings.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (51-30), owners of a record 20 straight losing seasons, have the best record in baseball. Winners of nine straight, they lead the NL Central by two games.
The Indians tracked down the Detroit Tigers and are tied with the defending AL champs in the Central Division.
The month of July looks like a big one for the Bucs. They play two of the worst teams in the NL and meet their chief rivals in the division.
The Pirates open a three-game series at PNC Park with the Phillies (39-44) on Tuesday. The Bucs play at the Cubs (35-45) three times, host the A’s (48-35) for three games and host the Mets (33-45) for three before the All-Star break. After the break, Pittsburgh hits the road for 10 games: the Reds (46-36) for three, the Nationals (41-40) for four and the Marlins (29-51) for three. The Bucs close the month with a four-game showdown with the Cards (49-32).
For the Indians (44-38), winners of four straight, they’ll be tested early in the month.
They host the Tigers (43-37) this weekend in a four-game series. Before that, the Tribe can add to their winning streak at the Royals. The Tribe will host the Jays (40-41) and Royals before the break. After the Midsummer Classic in New York, Cleveland hits the road for three at the Twins (36-42) and three at the Mariners (35-47). The Indians end the month hosting the West Division-leading Rangers (48-34) and then the White Sox (32-47).
There’s a lot of winnable games in July for Cleveland.
It’s not a make-or-break month, but it could go a long way as the dog days of summer approach and the pennant races really heat up.
Check back throughout the night as information and stats will be posted about the draft picks by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. Cleveland will pick at No. 5, Pittsburgh at No. 9 and No. 14 and Detroit at No. 20 and No. 39. The entire first round will also be posted as a list. The draft will begin at 7 p.m.
At No. 58, the Detroit Tigers take pitcher Kevin Ziomek, a 6-3, 200-pound left-handed starting pitcher out of Vanderbilt. He isn’t an overpowering pitcher but mixes his pitches well. He was drafted by Arizona in 2010 but elected to go to college instead. He performed well in the Cape Cod League after a tough sophomore season to see his draft stock rise.
At No. 51, the Pittsburgh Pirates take high school pitcher Blake Taylor, 6-3, 220-pound lefty from Dana Hills High School in California. He created plenty of buzz around the draft as a tall lefty that can touch the mid-90s with his fastball. Scouts say that his curveball is above average and he has the chance to develop a third pitch with a change-up.
At No. 39, the Detroit Tigers take closer Cory Knebel, a 6-3, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from Texas. He could rise through the system quickly with his power arm that can hit 98 mph. There are some off the field issues with Knebel as he was suspended twice with the Longhorns but there is plenty of upside as well.
At No. 20, the Detroit Tigers take Johnathon Crawford, a 6-2, 205-pound right-handed starting pitcher from Florida. Crawford can hit up to 96 mph late into games but needs to develop his offspeed pitches according to scouts. His changeup is solid and Crawford could develop into at least a No. 2 starter down the line.
At No. 14, the Pittsburgh Pirates take Reese McGuire, a 6-1, 190-pound catcher from Kentwood High School in California. McGuire is considered the best catcher on the board because of his defense. He has outstanding arm strength according to scouts with a “smooth, left-handed stroke despite being a righty behind the plate.” He is the highest-drafted catcher since 2008.
At No. 9, the Pittsburgh Pirates take Austin Meadows, a 6-3, 210-pound outfielder from Grayson High School in Georgia. Ironically, he played travel ball with Clint Frazier, the Indians’ pick. He is a left-handed hitter that has a “smooth swing and good power” according to scouts. He hit .535 as a senior and could stay in centerfield or move to a corner outfield position.
At No. 5, the Cleveland Indians take Clint Frazier, a 6-1, 180-pound outfielder from Loganville High School in Georgia. He has been referred to as a smaller Mike Trout by scouts. Frazier is the Gatorade National Player of the Year and is a power hitter. He hit .485 with 17 home runs, 56 runs scored and 45 RBIs as a centerfielder with good speed. He has signed a letter of intent to play at Georgia but is expected to sign with the Indians.
1. Houston Astros – RHP Mark Appel, Stanford
2. Chicago Cubs – 3B/OF Kris Bryant, San Diego
3. Colorado Rockies – RHP Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma
4. Minnesota Twins – RHP Kohl Stewart, St. Pius X High School (Texas) 5. Cleveland Indians – OF Clint Frazier, Loganville High School (Georgia)
6. Miami Marlins – 3B Colin Moran, North Carolina
7. Boston Red Sox – LHP Trey Ball, New Castle High School (Indiana)
8. Kansas City Royals – SS Hunter Dozier, Stephen F. Austin 9. Pittsburgh Pirates – OF Austin Meadows, Grayson High School (Georgia)
10. Toronto Blue Jays – RHP Phillip Bickford, Oaks Christian High School (California)
11. New York Mets – 1B/OF Dominic Smith, Serra High School (California)
12. Seattle – 3B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico
13. San Diego – OF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State 14. Pittsburgh – C Reese McGuire, Kentwood High School (California)
15. Arizona – RHP Braden Shipley, Nevada
16. Philadelphia – SS J.P. Crawford, Lakewood High School (California)
17. Chicago White Sox – SS Tim Anderson, East Central C.C.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers – RHP Chris Anderson, Jacksonville
19. St. Louis – LHP Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga 20. Detroit – RHP Johnathon Crawford, Florida
21. Tampa Bay – C Nick Ciuffo, Lexington High School (South Carolina)
22. Baltimore – RHP Hunter Harvey, Bandys High School (North Carolina)
23. Texas – RHP Alex Gonzalez, Oral Roberts
24. Oakland – OF Billy McKinney, Plano West High School (Texas)
25. San Francisco – SS Christian Arroyo, Hernando High School (Florida)
26. New York Yankees – 3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame
27. Cincinnati – OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
28. St. Louis – LHP Rob Kaminsky, St. Joseph Regional (New Jersey)
29. Tampa Bay – RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas
30. Texas – SS Travis Demeritte, Winder Barrow High School (Georgia)
31. Atlanta – RHP Jason Hursh, Oklahoma State
32. New York Yankees – OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State
33. New York Yankees – LHP Ian Clarkin, James Madison High School (Florida) Competitive Balance Round A
34. Kansas City – LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana State
35. Miami – LHP Matt Krook, St. Ignatius College Prep (California)
36. Arizona – RHP Aaron Blair, Marshall
37. Baltimore – OF Josh Hart, Parkview High School (Georgia)
38. Cincinnati – RHP Michael Lorenzen, Cal State-Fullerton 39. Detroit – RHP Corey Knebel, Texas Round 2
40. Houston – RHP Andrew Thurman, California-Irvine
41. Chicago Cubs – LHP Rob Zastryzny, Missouri
42. Colorado – 3B Ryan McMahon, Mater Dei High School (California)
43. Minnesota – RHP Ryan Eades, LSU
44. Miami – RHP Trevor Williams, Arizona State
45. Boston – RHP Teddy Stankiewicz, Seminole State
46. Kansas City – LHP Cody Reed, Northwester Mississippi C.C.
47. Toronto – RHP Clinton Hollon, Woodford County High School (Kentucky)
48. New York Mets – RHP Andrew Church, Basic High School (Nevada)
49. Seattle – OF Austin Wilson, Stanford
50. San Diego – SS Dustin Peterson, Gilbert High School (Arizona) 51. Pittsburgh – LHP Blake Taylor, Dana Hills High School (California)
52. Arizona – SS Justin Williams, Terrebonne High School (Arizona)
53. Philadelphia – C Andrew Knapp, California
54. Milwaukee – RHP Devin Williams, Hazelwood West High School (Missouri)
55. Chicago White Sox – RHP Tyler Danish, Durant High School (Florida)
56. Los Angeles Dodgers – LHP Tom Windle, Minnesota
57. St. Louis – SS Oscar Mercado, Vivian Gaither High School (Florida) 58. Detroit – LHP Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt
59. Los Angeles Angels – LHP Hunter Green, Warren East High School (Kentucky)
60. Tampa Bay – SS Riley Unroe, Desert Ridge High School (Arizona)
61. Baltimore – C Chance Sisco, Santiago High School (California)
62. Texas – RHP Akeem Bostwick, West Florence High School (South Carolina)
63. Oakland – LHP Dillon Overton, Oklahoma
64. San Francisco – 3B Ryder Jones, Watauga High School (North Carolina)
65. Atlanta – C Victor Caratini, Miami Dade C.C. South
66. New York Yankees – 2B Gosuke Katoh, Rancho Bernardo High School (California)
67. Cincinnati – 3B Kevin Franklin, Gahr High School (California)
68. Washington – RHP Jake Johansen, Dallas Baptist Competitive Balance Round B
69. San Diego – OF Jordan Paroubeck, Serra High School (California)
70. Colorado – RHP Alex Balog, San Francisco
71. Oakland – SS Chad Pinder, Virginia Tech
72. Milwaukee – SS Tucker Neuhaus, Wharton High School (Florida)
73. Miami – RHP Colby Suggs, Arkansas
The Cleveland Indians aren’t just getting by against former Cy Young winners, they’re beating them up.
Here’s a look at the Cy Young winners the Cleveland Indians have beaten this season:
R.A. Dickey: April 2, 4-1. Dickey gave up three earned runs and four walks in six innings. David Price: April 7, 13-0. Price gave up eight earned runs in five innings. Roy Halladay: April 30, 14-2. Halladay gave up eight earned runs in 3.2 innings. Cliff Lee: May 1, 6-0. Lee gave up four earned runs in six innings. Bartolo Colon: May 9, 9-2. Colon gave up six earned runs in four innings. Justin Verlander: May 11, 7-6. Verlander gave up three earned runs in five innings. Felix Hernandez: May 19, 6-0. Hernandez gave up five earned runs in five innings.
Jake Peavy is the only Cy Young winner to beat the Indians. The White Sox beat Cleveland 3-1 on April 14.