So that’s how you beat the Toronto Blue Jays? With pitching. Who knew? What a novel concept.
I hope the powers-that-be for the Texas Rangers were watching last night’s Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It featured the team that has beaten theirs six consecutive times in the playoffs. Not just beaten them, destroyed their starters in five of those six. (Then there are those instances when the Rangers forgot how to field.)
Cleveland’s Corey Kluber was masterful. He held the Toronto Blue Jays scoreless over 6.1 innings. Andrew Miller faced five Blue Jays, striking out all five. And Cody Allen closed it out. This was against a team that had averaged 7.3 runs a game in the first round against the Rangers. A team that had feasted on eight home runs against Texas pitching.
So, to recap what we learned last night: The secret to winning baseball is starting pitching. Or, more specifically, not Rangers’ starting pitching.
Please make a note of that for all off-season purchases and acquisitions.
J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18) vs. Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40)
Game time: 3:08, TBS
How the Blue Jays hit against Tomlin.
How the Indians hit against Happ.
Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48) vs. Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44)
Game time: 7:08, FS1
How the Dodgers hit against Lester.
How the Cubs hit against Maeda.