Cubs get blanked again last night and my silly display of impatience is punished with a small hit to the bankroll. That zone I had found for the last two months of the season disappeared into the local blackout and I just haven’t been able get much of a feel back with limited access to information at the moment.
That said, I’m going to write-up the fifth game of the American League Championship Series – a clash that hasn’t gone the way I had anticipated in the prelude. Cleveland took the first three games and completely shut the Jays’ power bats down in the process. Not even home cooking and 8.1 innings against the Cleveland bullpen on Monday night could solve Toronto’s offensive issues. The Jays got a win to stave off elimination last night, but can they get another one to get it back to Ohio?
At this point though, I’m prepared to go down with the ship with the hope of snatching a cheap win, similar to game four. The Indians have two more games at home and complete control of the series, though Terry Francona has been on the other side of a 3-0 comeback. Even still, with Danny Salazar still unavailable, Cleveland will turn to a rookie Ryan Merrit to start tonight in a game that, at least to me, still feels like a bit of a throwaway for the Tribe. The ‘pen has been pushed to the limits and it will be hard to restrain from looking ahead to home cooking coming up in the real closeout opportunity. I’m going to ride with the Jays, probably for the last time in 2016.
I don’t have records on it, but I don’t think I’ve played Toronto well all year. And in a way, it feels right that their season ends in a game we side with them. But enough of that, Marco Estrada has been the man in these playoffs – tossing eight-and-a-third in a blowout against Texas and then another eight while his offense was shutout by in game one. Yes, he’ll be the first starter to throw for a second time in either LCS, but he’s on four days of rest and has the makeup of a guy who won’t be particularly affected by a little short rest. Cleveland’s lineup hasn’t exactly been world beaters and with a desperate Toronto lineup against a rookie starter, this one lines up for a home win and a sixth game.
Don’t count this one against the record, though. Enough of that, for now.
YTD: 36-25-1 +5.17
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02
estrada • game four • indians • jays • merrit • must win