The writing on the wall for the Cleveland Indians is getting bigger and bigger. In a crucial spot against the Chicago White Sox last night, the team rang a leak and were blown out by a score of 8-0. It was the final game in Cleveland this season and may very well be a season killer. They wrap the regular season up on the road in an interleague matchup against the Nationals. Last night wasn’t a death sentence for the Indians, but their odds of getting into the postseason are getting slim. A loss and win by the Rays in Toronto would be a death sentence, though.
If the Indians sweep the Nationals and the Blue Jays sweep the Rays, then the Indians are going to be in the Wild Card Game. There is also a chance for the Indians to reach by winning a play-in game. If the Tribe sweep the Nats and the Rays go 1-2 in Toronto, then there would be a play-in game between the Indians and Rays. The Wild Card Game is essentially a play-in game, so it’d be back-to-back do-or-die scenarios.
The most likely scenario playing out is the Indians going home and planning their vacations. They have nobody to blame but themselves for this mess. Losing 8-3 and then 8-0 in almost must-win situations is godly awful. We’re not talking about the Indians having to be a contender, either. And with that, Cleveland do not deserve to be playing baseball in October. I hear the weather is nice in Cabo, though. The Indians will try and stay alive with Zach Plesac on the bump tonight. Austin Voth is scheduled to counter for the Nationals. Head below for our free Indians vs. Nationals pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Washington Nationals Pick:
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While the Indians try and figure out a way to get back on track, the Washington Nationals are feeling sky high going into this weekend. The Nationals are in the postseason after clinching against the Philadelphia Phillies. They didn’t stop there, as they added another win for the sweep on Thursday. The Phillies had no energy or drive to play. They are just fighting to stay above .500 and nothing else.
The Nationals are still playing for something in a sense. Despite clinching a wildcard, the Nationals hope to play the Wild Card game in Washington. They’re currently a game up on the Brewers, who have clinched as well. So, the NL Wild Card Game will either be in Milwaukee or Washington. If the standings remain the same, then it will be played in Washington.
Austin Voth is scheduled to get the call for the Nats in this one. The rookie has been contributing for Washington down the stretch. He hopes to play a role in the postseason, which could be out of the bullpen. Anibal Sanchez is likely to be the No. 4 guy, so that would bump Voth to the bullpen. He could be called on to pitch some important innings.
Voth goes into Friday with an ERA of 3.35 and 1.17 WHIP in 37.2 innings of work. He’s been sharp in his most recent showings, with Voth posting an ERA of 2.45 and 1.16 WHIP in his previous three starts. He has allowed just 2 runs in his last 14.2 innings on the bump. His counterpart on the others side tonight, Zach Plesac, has been iffy of late with a 4.91 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in his last three games. He’s allowed at least 4 earned runs in three out of his last four starts.
Beyond Plesac not pitching exceptionally well recently, the body language on the Indians looks way off. They look like a team who know what their fate already holds. Showing up with that effort against the White Sox at home is an ugly feeling. I don’t know how they get up to feel motivated enough to play the red-hot Nationals tonight. Expect the Nationals to deliver a kill shot to the Indians in this one.