Apr 6, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcherChris Sale
(49) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
3. The Indians face Chris Sale on Friday, April 11. The Indians have had success against him during his career as he is 2-4 with a 4.71 ERA against them? Can the Indians continue that trend this weekend?
If this was July or August and I knew what to expect, I might be inclined to say yes. However, with it only being April and pitchers still at a bit of an advantage over hitters, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sale shut the Indians down. And there’s no shame in that. Sale is a great pitcher.
He’s the type of top-level pitcher the Indians typically struggle against. For them to have that kind of success against him is a bit of a head-scratcher. One thing I think that does help them is that both Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley hit left handers well even though they themselves hit left-handed.
Terry Francona doesn’t have to worry about sitting them in favor of less talented right-handed hitting options. If they do play, there is little to no dropoff in production. Maybe that’s the reason for the success. The Indians can play their regular lineup, whereas most other teams play the lefty-righty matchup game.