Crucial Timing Hiting
The key to the Indians playoff success lies in the pitching staff, and hitting with runners in scoring position.
If you remember the 2013 Wild Card game, the one thing the Indians didn’t get was clutch hitting. They often left guys on base, hitting into rally killing double plays, or simply failed to make contact.
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Players who proved throughout the 2016 regular season they know how to get the big hits or take the big walk to change the game. That will be key. They will need those timely hits, and they will need great contributions from the pitching staff. They’re going to need Trevor Bauer to be dominant in game one. They’ll also need Corey Kluber to go Curt Schilling and forget the pain.
He’s coming off that quad injury, and despite a week’s rest there’s genuine concern he won’t be 100% in Game 2. From there, the bullpen has to do what they’ve done all season: Answer the call when their number is called.
Whether that’s shutting down a rally or pitching a 1-2-3 inning, their contributions will make a difference. If the Indians get timely hitting and great pitching performances, they’ll go a long way this October. If not, it could be a short playoff run.