The Cleveland Indians are one win away from the World Series, but the Toronto Blue Jays are going to keep fighting until they are officially eliminated.

Any comeback in the American League Championship Series will have to start in Game 4, with the Blue Jays down 3-0 and facing the Indians’ best pitcher. Clearly, it is going to be an uphill battle to get back in the series.

Still, Indians manager Terry Francona knows you can win an ALCS from down 3-0 after accomplishing the feat with the Boston Red Sox in 2004. This will keep things interesting heading into the upcoming battle between the two talented squads.


ALCS Game 4

When: Tuesday, Oct. 18

Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto

Time: 4 p.m. ET


Live Stream:



The story of this series through three games has been the performance of the Indians bullpen. The group had shut down the Blue Jays in the first two contests with six scoreless innings, but Game 3 was a completely different type of impressive.

Starter Trevor Bauer only lasted two outs before a bloody pinkie forced him to leave the game, per Steve Gardner of USA Today. The bullpen responded by going 8.1 innings while allowing just two runs in a 4-2 victory.

Andrew Miller has been the star of the show with five shutout innings in three games, striking out 13 while allowing just two hits in this stretch.

Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of MLB Network wanted to give credit to the managing job as well as Miller:

Although Francona can’t win MVP, he deserves a lot of praise for the work he has done in this series. While anyone can just tell a setup man and a closer to go out in the eighth and ninth innings, the Indians manager has been more creative to put his pitchers in the best possible chances to win.

This includes flipping the duo Monday, sending in closer Cody Allen in the seventh inning and start of the eighth against the tougher right-handers before Miller came on for the last four outs.

All of this has worked perfectly to keep the Blue Jays out of rhythm offensively.

Jose Bautista is just 1-for-9 in the series, Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-11 and Troy Tulowitzki is 1-for-11, contributing to just three runs for Toronto in three games. This is a big drop from the 27 runs scored in the first four games of the postseason.

There is obvious talent on the roster, but the question is whether the players can figure out a way to produce against this Cleveland staff.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after Game 3 that his offense is “due to erupt,” per the Associated Press (via USA Today): “It hasn’t happened yet. But I’ve seen it too many times. Hopefully [Tuesday] is that day. We’ll see.”

The confidence is a good thing, but getting it done against Game 4 starter Corey Kluber won’t be an easy task. The one positive is the unknown of pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career, per’s Jerry Crasnick.

While one would think pitching Kluber on short rest would be an unnecessary risk up 3-0, there aren’t many options with a makeshift rotation, as Zack Meisel of explained:

Rookie Ryan Merritt would be forced to start if Kluber can’t close things out, which makes winning Tuesday’s game important. It should also give Toronto confidence knowing that one win can turn around the series.

Aaron Sanchez gets the ball for the Blue Jays after going 15-2 during the regular season. Although he struggled in his only other postseason start, he has the talent necessary to keep a tough Cleveland offense in check.

However, none of it will matter if Toronto’s offense doesn’t start hitting.


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