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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 5, 2021

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Game Preview: Kansas City (54-77) vs. Cleveland (63-64)

By Matt Van Wormer

Ubaldo Jimenez trying to get back on track?  The Indians being under .500 for the first time since being 1-2?  The fact that the lowly Royals seem to give the Indians fits whenever they play them?  Nope.  None of these story lines are the biggest of the night.  That distinction goes to the return of T25: The Thomenator.
The Indians claimed Thome off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, supposedly on Wednesday around 1 in the afternoon.  Manager Manny Acta said that he is excited to have Thome available and plans on hitting him in the cleanup spot, “if that’s ok with (Thome).”  The Indians don’t expect Thome to be a savior and fix everything that has been going wrong but it will definitely bring a spark to the ballpark and give the clubhouse some great veteran leadership.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-10, 4.88, 1.44 WHIP) takes the hill for the Tribe, looking to bounce back from two starts that saw him give up a total of 12 earned runs (13 total).  It seems that the Tigers figured Jimenez out after he stymied them just 11 days earlier.  Jimenez will have to keep his cool, and just as important, his command if he plans on helping this team get to the post-season for the first time since 2007.
The Royals counter with Felipe Paulino (2-9, 4.40, 1.47 WHIP).  Paulino kept Indians hitters at bay in his one start against them on July 30th in Cleveland, throwing six innings of four hit, no-run baseball.  The Royals bullpen blew that game as they took a 2-1 lead into the ninth and let it get away when Matt LaPorta hit a walk-off home run, one of six the Indians have hit this season.
The Indians are 6.5 games back in the Central Division and have just a half game lead on the White Sox.  After dropping three of four to the worst offensive team in the American League (Seattle), the Indians have to right the ship and win the games that they should if they are going to have any chance of playing into the fall.  Tonight has to be the start of that or all Jim Thome is going to be good for is putting butts in the seats.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup:
4. Jim Thome, DH
Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup:
9. Chris Getz, SS
Photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images

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