The Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Cleveland Indians, ALCS Game 2
The Time: 4:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: J.A. Happ (Blue Jays) vs. Josh Tomlin (Indians)
Trevor Bauer was originally lined up for Game 2 of the ALCS, but after sustaining an injury to his right pinky finger while repairing a drone (a real, factual statement), Josh Tomlin will get the nod this afternoon. Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA) hasn’t exactly been lights-out against the Blue Jays’ offense this season, which might pose a problem for the Indians as they look for a 2-0 lead in the series. In two regular season starts against Toronto, the right-hander allowed seven runs, four homers, and three walks while striking out 13 batters over 10 1/3 innings.
Starting opposite Tomlin is Toronto southpaw J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA), who pitched five innings of one-run ball during his last postseason appearance. Sample size notwithstanding, Happ dominated the Indians’ lineup in one regular season meeting, going seven innings with five hits, a run, and 11 strikeouts in a 17-1 drubbing. Saturday’s start will mark just the third time Happ has set foot in Progressive Field after pitching one scoreless inning of relief in 2014 and returning in 2015 for a four-run spread over a 2 1/3 inning loss with the Mariners.
At the plate, the Indians and Blue Jays still look neck-and-neck against pitchers who, unlike their Game 1 counterparts, won’t offer anything quite as unhittable. If the Jays are going to even the series, their best bet is to tag Tomlin for an early lead before Terry Francona calls on Andrew Miller for another late-game shutdown.