The Indians know they must bounce back quickly following Saturday's losses

The Indians were swept by the Twins in Saturday's doubleheader

James Rapien
September 15, 2019 - 12:01 pm

CLEVELAND, OH – The Indians dropped two games to the Twins on Saturday, which ended any realistic chance of a fourth straight AL Central title and put their wild card hopes in jeopardy.

They’re 2½ games back in the American League Wild Card race with 13 to go. The Indians know they have to forget about Saturday’s results, no matter how frustrating they are and move forward.

“You have to [move on]. It can be more of a challenge at times than others,” manager Terry Francona said. “You lose a tough doubleheader, but the ramifications are if you feel sorry for yourself, that’s not going to help. The best thing we can do is come out and play a good game today [Sunday]. That’s really the only thing.”

The Indians have dealt with plenty of adversity this season. How will they respond to the Twins essentially clinching the division with two huge haymakers on Saturday?

“I can give you about 19 clichés,” Francona said. “Yesterday’s done. We can’t undo that. What we can do is try to put our best foot forward today.”

All-Star Shane Bieber will get the start on Sunday. He’ll look to continue his stellar second season and keep the Indians alive in the wild card race. Bieber is 14-7 on the year with a 3.17 ERA.

Oscar Mercado hopes to stay hot for the Tribe. He’s hitting .381 with four doubles and six RBI in his last 10 games.

 “The sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow,” Mercado said on Saturday night. “Tomorrow is a new day and we got to make sure that we come in and salvage the last game of the series and try to find a way to get hot again.”

Underwhelming Puig

Yasiel Puig has been a disappointment since the Indians acquired him at the trade deadline. He’s only hit two home runs since joining Cleveland and hasn’t homered in the last 25 games (92 at-bats). Puig has posted a .217/.324/.283 slash line over that span.

With José Ramírez out, the Indians needed Puig to emerge and help fill the void. Instead, he’s struggled, posting a .638 OPS since Ramírez broke his hand.