MLB on Sling TV: Tigers Fighting for Their Playoff Lives Against Indians, Rockies Looking to Torpedo Giants’ Wild Card Hopes on ESPN; Wednesday’s Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Sep 28, 2016 by Scott Ross

(all times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Cleveland Indians (McAllister 3-2, 3.58) at Detroit Tigers (Fulmer 11-7, 2.95)
7pm ET on ESPN

The Tigers pounded the Indians 12-0 last night, as Detroit starter Justin Verlander exploited a Cleveland lineup missing four regulars. Verlander fanned 12, giving up just 4 hits and a walk over 7 ⅔ shutout innings, and Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-3 with a walk, a homer, and 5 RBI. The win improved the Tigers’ record to 84-73, and pulled them to within a game of the Orioles in the hunt for the second Wild Card berth.

With their 7-4 win Monday night over the Tigers, the Indians clinched their first AL Central title since 2007. But it was a pyrrhic victory, as staff ace Corey Kluber had to beg off after just 4 innings due to tightness in the right side of his groin. Presumably this was a preventative measure on the part of Indians manager Terry Francona, who said after the game, “I told him we need to find a way to win a game, but we aren’t going far without him, so we need to get him healthy.” With Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar also battle health issues, the Indians are focused now on getting ready for the postseason.

Middle reliever Zach McAllister gets the call for the Indians, making just his second start of the season, and first in nearly three months. McAllister primary objective tonight will be to let all of Cleveland’s ailing starters convalesce ahead of next week’s playoffs. Michael Fulmer is on the hill for Detroit tonight, coming off his best start in almost 6 weeks, as he held the Royals on Friday to 1 run on 8 hits over 7 innings while fanning 9. Fulmer would be in line for the American League ERA title, but he’s 6 ⅓ inning short of eligibility – if pitches well tonight, he could be back in the running. As for his quest for the AL Rookie of the Year, he’d better step it up, ‘cuz Gary Sanchez last night hit his 20th homer of the season to lead the Yankees to a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox.

Colorado Rockies (Chatwood 11-9, 4.08) at San Francisco Giants (Samardzija 12-10, 3.83)
10pm ET on ESPN

The Colorado Rockies have come not to praise the Giants, but to bury them. At 73-84, the Rockies have been out of the running for a while, while the Giants are barely hanging onto the second Wild Card berth, with a 1-game lead on the Cardinals, and a half-game back of the Mets, who hold the top spot. The Giants, and their bullpen in particular, have suffered a brutal collapse this year, to miss the playoffs entirely would be a crushing blow, especially given the “every even year” mojo they’ve been spouting on about since 2010.

When looking at Chatwood’s numbers, it’s important to remember that he pitches in Coors Field for a team that won just 47% of its game – keep that in mind and he’s been pretty good. In road games he has a 1.88 ERA and a 7-1 record and allowed just .579 OPS. He walks too many guys, and his strikeouts are low, but he gets people out – just not at home. For a time it looked as though Jeff Samardzija was going to be the steal of the free agent class, as he started the season 7-3 with a 2.54 ERA. Since then, however, he’s been 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA. He’s netted out to being pretty good this year, while still feeling like a disappointment – nice trick.

Watch the Cleveland Indians vs. the Detroit Tigers at 7pm, followed by the Colorado Rockies vs. the San Francisco Giants at 10pm ET on ESPN by subscribing to the Sling Orange.

And here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land…

Arizona Diamondbacks (Miller 2-12, 6.47) at Washington Nationals (Gonzalez 11-10, 4.51)
7:05pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

Cleveland Indians (McAllister 3-2, 3.58) at Detroit Tigers (Fulmer 11-7, 2.95)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & SportsTime Ohio

New York Mets (Lugo 4-2, 2.61) at Miami Marlins (Urena 4-8, 5.95)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida

Philadelphia Phillies (Morgan 2-10, 5.57) at Atlanta Braves (Foltynewicz 8-5, 4.41)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Southeast

Minnesota Twins (Santana 7-11, 3.37) at Kansas City Royals (Vargas 0-0, 3.86)
7:15pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & FOX Sports North

Milwaukee Brewers (Anderson 9-11, 4.36) at Texas Rangers (Hamels 15-5, 3.30)
8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest & FOX Sports Wisconsin

Tampa Bay Rays (Snell 6-8, 3.65) at Chicago White Sox (Gonzalez 4-8, 3.98)
8:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun

Cincinnati Reds (DeSclafani 8-5, 3.38) at St. Louis Cardinals (Leake 9-11, 4.72)
8:15pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Midwest

Oakland Athletics (Gray 5-11, 5.74) at Los Angeles Angels (Meyer 1-3, 5.91)
10:05pm ET on FOX Sports West

Los Angeles Dodgers (De Leon 2-0, 5.52) at San Diego Padres (Perdomo 8-10, 5.59)
10:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego

Watch baseball on FOX and FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to the Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy of ESPN and Baseball Reference

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