Game Preview #72: Cleveland Indians (37-34) at New York Yankees (43-28)
By Mike Brandyberry
After losing the last two games in Houston the Indians find themselves a Major League worst 5-15 when left handers opposed them. Luckily, the Indians find themselves a Major League best 32-19 when facing right handed pitchers, like they will the next two evenings.
Tonight the Indians will face right hander Hiroki Kuroda (6-7, 3.57 ERA) of the Yankees. Kuroda is in his first year with the Bronx Bombers after signing as a free agent in January and leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers. He suffered the loss last Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves when he allowed four earned runs over seven innings of a 4-3 defeat. Kuroda holds hitters to a .234 batting average at Yankee Stadium, however, he has never faced the Cleveland Indians in his career.
The Indians will send Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.12 ERA) to the hill to snap the Tribe’s skid. Manny Acta’s “Little Cowboy,” pitched one of his best games of the year last Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds, throwing six and two-third innings and allowing only one run. The Indians won in the 10th inning when Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run, walkoff home run off Aroldis Chapman.
Tomlin has defeated the Yankees in two of his three career starts, but his one defeat is a 9-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. His two victories are at Progressive Field. Tomlin is susceptible to the home run ball and Yankee Stadium is known as a park where the ball flies very well.
The Indians made a roster move this afternoon, optioning Jeanmar Gomez to Triple-A Columbus and recalling Scott Barnes. Gomez allowed five runs over five and two-third innings on Saturday in Houston, but his struggles have been much greater of late. Gomez was 1-5, with a 7.92 ERA in his last six starts. Barnes will resume his place in the Indians’ bullpen and it is expected that Zach McAllister will be recalled from Columbus to fill Gomez’s place in the rotation.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis remain in fourth place at their respective positions in the American League All-Star voting. Voting is open through Thursday at midnight, with the teams being announced on TBS at 1 pm on Sunday.
Tonight’s game begins at 7 pm at the new Yankee Stadium and can be heard on the Indians Radio Network and seen on SportsTime Ohio.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Johnny Damon, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Lonnie Chisenhall, DH
New York Yankees Starting Lineup
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, DH
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Nick Swisher, RF
6. Raul Ibanez, LF
7. Eric Chavez, 3B
8. Dewayne Wise, CF
9. Chris Stewart, C
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images