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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 21, 2017

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Game Preview #71: Cleveland Indians (37-33) at Houston Astros (29-42)

By Mike Brandyberry

Jeanmar Gomez looked as if he had fixed his woes for four innings Saturday, then the Astros wrecked what had been a perfect afternoon. The Stros hung eight runs on Gomez and the Tribe bullpen in their final three at bats and the Indians’ woes against left-handed starters continued as they lost 8-1.

Today, the Indians will face another left-handed pitcher when the Astros parade J.A. Happ (5-7, 5.15 ERA) to the mound. Happ earned the victory last Monday over the Kansas City Royals when he pitched six innings, allowing only two runs in a 9-7 victory. The Indians now find themselves 5-14 on the season when a southpaw takes the hill. Yesterday, lefty Dallas Keuchel pitched a complete game in only his second Major League start.

The Tribe will counter with Derek Lowe (7-5, 4.30) in the series finale. Lowe started the season with a 6-2 record and 2.05 ERA, but has struggled over his last six starts. In that time Lowe is 1-4, with a 8.13 ERA. Today is a perfect time for Lowe to get back on track against the light-hitting Astros. The Tribe desperately needs a series victory before travelling to the east coast for series against the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles.

Speculation began to swirl yesterday that Gomez could be optioned to Triple-A Columbus to work on his problems. His likely replacement, Zach McAllister, pitched last evening for the Clippers and would be ready to take Gomez’s scheduled start on Thursday in Baltimore. However, the Indians did not announce a move after the game yesterday. If the Tribe options Gomez to Columbus, they may recall a hitter for some extra offensive production for a couple days before recalling McAllister on Thursday.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Saturday that the Boston Red Sox are aggressively trying to trade Kevin Youkilis. According to Rosenthal, the White Sox and Indians are the two leaders to obtain the right-handed hitting slugger. Youkilis has lost playing time in Boston because of injury, lack of production and the emergence of Will Middlebrooks. The Red Sox are willing to pay $5 million of Youkilis’ nearly $8 million remaining on his contract this season.

Transactions and trades are all possible this afternoon, but the game will begin at 2:05 ET. All the game action and updates can be heard on the Indians Radio Network or viewed on WKYC-3.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Lou Marson, C
9. Derek Lowe, P

Houston Astros Starting Lineup
1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Jed Lowrie, SS
3. Carlos Lee, 1B
4. Brian Bogusevic, RF
5. Chris Johnson, 3B
6. Jason Castro, C
7. J.D. Martinez, LF
8. Jordan Schaefer, CF
9. J.A. Happ, P

Photo: Getty Images