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1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Philadelphia0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 153
Cleveland0 0 0 1 3 0 6 0 x 1090
10
  W: C. Carrasco (6-7)   L: V. Velasquez (7-8)
3:37 PM PT4:37 PM MT5:37 PM CT6:37 PM ET18:37 ET22:37 GMT6:37 3:37 PM MST5:37 PM EST6:07 PM VEN2:37 UAE (+1)5:37 PM CT, September 22, 2019
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 25,309

Indians clinging to playoff hopes in finale against Phillies

According to STATS
According to STATS

Philadelphia Phillies at Cleveland Indians

  1. Terry Francona is 22-11 all-time against the Phillies, the team with which he began his managerial career began in 1997. That's his best record against any NL opponent in 15 seasons since moving over to the AL.
  2. Phillies relievers have a 2.96 ERA this month -- fourth best in the majors - and a .208 opponent batting average -- sixth best. The Philadelphia bullpen had entered September with a 4.67 ERA, which ranked 20th in MLB, and a .268 opponent BA which ranked 27th.
  3. With Thursday's 7-0 victory over Detroit, Cleveland reached 90 wins for the fourth consecutive season. The only longer active streak in the majors is the Dodgers with seven in a row, and it's the second longest in Indians history behind a run of six straight 90+ win seasons from 1950-55.
  4. If he gets five strikeouts Friday, Shane Bieber will become just the third pitcher in the past 30 years to record 250 strikeouts in a season before turning 25 years old (he turned 24 on May 31); the others were Jose Fernandez in 2016 and Tim Lincecum in 2008.
  5. Rhys Hoskins is one home run away from hitting 30 for a second straight season. The only other right-handed Phillies' hitters in the past 40 years to reach 30 homers in back-to-back seasons are Mike Schmidt (1980-87) and Pat Burrell (2007-08).
  6. Francisco Lindor has scored 422 runs over the past four seasons, fourth most in MLB behind Mookie Betts (483), Charlie Blackmon (475) and Mike Trout (426). Lindor is the only American Leaguer to score at least 50 runs at home in each of those seasons.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/20/2019 thru 9/22/2019

The Cleveland Indians are running out of time in their quest to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

They'll enter the finale of their three-game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday evening a game back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot from the American League with seven games left.

The Indians had won six in a row to pull into a tie with the Rays, but gave up a three-run lead on Saturday night against the Phillies and lost 9-4.

At the same time, the Rays were celebrating their second straight extra-inning walk-off win against the Boston Red Sox.

The series finale between the Indians and Phillies might come down to a pair of starting pitchers who grew up in adjacent Southern California cities and were drafted out of high school in the same year by the Houston Astros.

Adam Plutko is scheduled to take the mound for the Indians, while Vince Velasquez is set to start for Philadelphia.

Plutko was born in Upland before becoming a sixth-round draft pick out of Glendora High School in 2010. Velasquez spent his senior year about 10 miles away at Garey High, where the Montclair native was drafted in the second round.

Plutko chose to attend UCLA, while Velasquez signed with the Astros.

After playing briefly with Houston in 2015, Velasquez was traded to the Phillies following that season.

Plutko's stock dropped at UCLA before Cleveland selected him in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.

Plutko started this season in the minors, but has been a regular member of the rotation since mid-May.

Recent numbers suggest Plutko hasn't done much out of the ordinary, as his only two wins in his past six starts have come against the Detroit Tigers, but he has given the Indians a chance in his past three outings.

They've taken advantage of that, winning his past three starts, even though Plutko was credited with just one of those victories.

Plutko (7-4, 4.34 ERA) has never faced the Phillies in his three-year career, and his only other start this season against a National League opponent came at the New York Mets on Aug. 21, when he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He did not receive a decision in the 4-3 loss.

"We need to play our best brand of baseball, no matter who our opponent is," Plutko told reporters after his last outing. "No matter if it's a winning team or a losing team."

Velasquez (7-7, 4.89 ERA) has benefited from excellent run support in recent outings, posting a 3-0 record in his past six starts with a lofty 6.84 ERA,

His most recent start was impressive, however.

Velasquez held the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves to two runs and five hits in five innings on Tuesday, earning the win in the 5-4 victory in Atlanta.

"A huge step for him mentally," teammate Rhys Hoskins told reporters afterward. "To know that in a big, big game, in a hostile environment, he can kind of reel it back in. We've seen it go the opposite way."

Velasquez has made two career appearances against the Indians, but none since throwing six shutout innings against them on May 1, 2016.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 22, 2019

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