The Cleveland Indians knocked off the Minnesota Twins 5-1 on Sunday to earn their first postseason birth since 2007. While it is uncertain which team the Indians will play host to — the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers will play in a tiebreaker game on Monday night – one thing already certain is that 23-year-old Danny Salazar will be Cleveland’s starting pitcher in the game on Wednesday.
Salazar has only been in the major leagues for three months and has started a mere ten games. He is 2-3 on the year with an ERA of 3.12 and a WHIP of 1.13. He’s struck out 65 batters in just 52 innings of work but has thrown over 100 pitches in only one game.
Cleveland’s manager Terry Francona spoke about the decision to put the youngster in such a high-pressure situation:
We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t believe in him. I think he’s learning as he goes. He’s not a finished product. The finished product is going to be special (CBS Sports).
The Indians are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, having won 15 of their last 17 games and owning a best-in-the-majors record of 21-6 in September.
[Source: CBS Sports]