Indians Host Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of ALCS

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Progressive Field will be lit up tonight for Game 1 of the American League Championship series between the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays.  The winner goes on to the World Series.  Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports the two teams know each other pretty well.

 

It’ll seem like coming home for Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins.  Both men were working for the Indians last year and helped hire Tribe manager Terry Francona

 “I didn’t like Mark when he was here, " Francona laughed.

Actually, they’re pretty close. 

“I’m sure they feel the same way we do – they want to beat our brains out.  But then when it’s over,  that’s never going to affect our friendship.”  

Toronto will be tough.   The Jays have just one player hitting 300 but 6 players with 20 or more home runs.  They;ve hit more extra base hits than any team in the 2016 postseason.

Corey Kluber is the starting pitcher for Cleveland but his worst game of the year was against Toronto back in July when he gave up 5 runs in 3.1 innings. 

“What has been a little bit surprising is people overlook their pitching.  And I don’t know why.

The Blue Jays will start Eric Estrada, who shut down Texas in the ALDS Game 1,  in the first game and 20 game winner Jay Happ in Game 2 Saturday afternoon.  Cleveland might have been favored but in a long seven game series they’re expected to struggle with two of their three best starters out with injuries. Francona will start Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Josh Tomlin with rookie Mike Clevinger.

"I think right now our best way to win this series is to allow those three to pitch two games and then to pitch Clev in the 4th game."

Francona said he may have use Clevinger out of the bullpen in an earlier game.

First pitch Friday is 8 o’clock and Saturdays game starts at 4:00pm.

 

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