I mean, really, except in the al things magically coming together world, who honestly thought that we would win this series 4-0 or, even, that we would go to Chicago 2-0?
This is baseball, this is fun. Things happen. And more will happen.
Actually, I am really happy with what went on last night. It could have gotten ugly but our bullpen dug in and held it to a level where one swing of the bat (with the bases loaded, of course) could have tied the game. There are some real positives from the pitching staff there that set up the rest of the series and even some positives from our hitters. Plus, there were LOTS of positives I saw relative to the Cubs, but more on that later.
Some suggestions for the rest of the series:
- When facing Chapman...bunt. Every time, all the time. it gives you a better look at the pitch, making it unlikely you will flail at that high hard one that you can't get on top of. The stats would say that it is just luck when people actually hit the ball against him and, sometimes, if that luck includes completely squaring up the ball, it ends up in a HR. But don't count on luck. Bunt and take the walks when they are available, which they usually are...just ask Rajai Davis.
- Don't start Kluber in Game 4. Start Andrew Miller instead. Then bring in Kluber in the 3rd inning. I know this is crazy thinking. These guys have never done this before, how can they ever adjust? Well, they have adjusted all year to crazy things. Why not now? If this works Kluber could potentially have to go only 5 innings to get to Allen.
- The outfield: I have no suggestions here. One of Naquin or Davis have to step up and start playing. If Francona REALLY thinks that they have Naquin's number, that they have found his Achilles heel (which is my thought, actually) then play Davis all the time. At this point, just like with Chapman, you don't just throw stuff against the wall and hope that it sticks.
- Just keep on keepin' on. Hey, as I said below I trust in Tito (interestingly I got a lot of 'hits' from Eastern Europe when I posted that, go figure!). He got us here and he knows his team. I will have some more to say about how he is using his team after the series but right now he is the guy who, frankly against all odds, has gotten us here.
Hey, no one said it would be easy. Our guys just have to keep on plugging. Victories in a series like this come from unexpected sources and we have more unexpected sources at our disposal now.