Another series loss has the Indians has placed them further into "there's always next year" mode. The rotation that was set during the last series is likely going to be the rotation for the rest of the season. Roberto Hernandez returned and fit right in with a very unenlightened performance. Corey Kluber will use the rest of the season as a showcase for 2013 and Ubaldo Jimenez will be begging via fastball every start for the Indians to accept his option for next year.
The Athletics on the other hand, are still in the thick of the Wild Card race. Only 1.5 games back from Tampa, Oakland is competing with five other teams for the two open wild card spots. Both the East and the West a securely in hand by the division leaders, so each of these teams is depending solely on the Wild Card.
McAllister had his best start of the season in his last outing as he went into the 8th inning giving up just two. This came after the Indians defense let him down in his prior start, allowing 7 unearned runs before he was pulled in the second. He will be looking to finish the season strong and safely.
Tommy Milone has never faced the Indians before and throws with his left hand. Look out, there could end up being four perfect games this season.
August 18th, 9:05 EDT: Corey Kluber, RHP, 0-1, 8.56 ERA vs Bartolo Colon, RHP, 5'11", 265
Kluber was the winner of the toss up between him and Chris Seddon for the last spot in the rotation. This makes sense as he is an Indians farm product and is younger and has been an actual starting pitcher throughout his career. He will need to prove management right in his next couple starts since they have a lot of options for replacement pitchers on his level. Jeanmar Gomez must be especially ready to make his return to the Majors since his demotion.
The Athletics will be throwing the android that used to be Bartolo Colon at the Indians in game two. It makes no sense that he is still physically able to pitch or that any team would want him to pitch for them but here we are. A decade after the Indians traded him away in what was one of the greatest trades in team history, somehow, Colon is the only one standing. Brandon Phillips is an all-star with the Reds, Cliff Lee is a champion and underrated starter for the ace rich Phillies, Grady Sizemore is on vacation in Cancun and the Expos are in first place in the NL East.
Masterson has given up just two runs in his last two starts over a total of 13 innings resulting in two wins. Although it would be only a small moral victory, it would be great if Masterson could drop his ERA below four and end the season with a winning record since he is supposed to be the ace. He has about eight more starts left this year, so it is time to get cracking.
Parker is having a fine rookie year for the A's. He has been particularly efficient, allowing just 49 walks compared to 95 strike outs in 121.1 innings. If it weren't for a certain fishy Angels outfielder both he and Zach McAllister would both be contending for the Rookie of the Year award.