LOOK AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK
The Twins are begging and pleading for the season to be over and start fresh come 2016. They have been a punching bag for much of baseball of the entire season, particularly their AL Central foes.
Six of their last seven series have been against teams within the division and the Twinkies have mustered just a 4-16 record during that time (4-19 overall), three of those losses were a sweep at the hands of the Tigers at Target Field back in late August.
Detroit has to sweep the Twins, has to. No exceptions, no excuses. They have to win games that are deemed must-win and cannot rely on help from around the league for the final 20 games of the season.
It’s been a while since we last saw the Indians on the schedule, have to go all the way back to the final week of the first half. Not a whole lot has changed since then, Cleveland had a minor hiccup or two along the way and Detroit got as close as just a couple games in the standings, but Cleveland has found a groove again and all of a sudden, they have a 7-game cushion in the Central division and are now vying for that top spot in the American League.
The division may very well already be wrapped up, barring some epic collapse from the Tribe or a strong surge from the Tigers. If there’s a positive to take away from this, The Zimmermann simulated game means that someone will be making a spot start, probably a Mike Pelfrey or Buck Farmer even. That likely means pushing Michael Fulmer back one day and having him and Verlander go in the weekend series in Cleveland.
The bad news is that Detroit will be facing Cleveland’s three best arms. AL Cy Young candidate and Friday’s scheduled starter Corey Kluber (16-9, 3.05 ERA) has allowed just one ER in 17 innings of work (two starts) against the Tigers this year. The same thing goes for Saturday’s scheduled starter Carlos Carrasco (11-7, 3.15 ERA), he’s allowed just one ER over 17.2 IP vs. DET.
It’s Fulmer vs. Kluber on Friday, Verlander vs. Carrasco on Saturday – both tentatively of course.