The biggest issue for the Cleveland Indians going into the second game of their three-game series with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday is who will be their manager.
During the opener on Tuesday, Indians manager Terry Francona wasn’t in the dugout. He was at the Cleveland Clinic, undergoing further tests in an attempt to pinpoint why he had to leave in the middle of games twice in the last three weeks due to a rapid heartrate.
“They are in the process of trying to narrow down exactly what’s been causing his symptoms,” Indians president Chris Antonetti said, “so he’s getting some additional tests, with the hope that they can better determine what’s been causing him to have episodes of not feeling great.”
Speaking prior to the Tuesday game, a 1-0 San Diego win, Antonetti was unsure if Francona would manage the club on Wednesday.
“We’re still working through that,” Antonetti said. “It depends upon how long and what tests they need to do.”
The pitching matchup for Wednesday will be San Diego right-hander Luis Perdomo (3-4, 4.71 ERA) against Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer (7-6, 5.24).
Perdomo has pitched well in recent starts. In his past four games, he is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Wednesday will be his first career appearance against the Indians.
Bauer has gotten better as the season has progressed. In his first 10 starts, he had a 6.00 ERA. However, in six starts during June, he was 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA. In two career starts against the Padres, Bauer is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA.
The Padres come into Wednesday’s game riding the momentum from their victory over Cleveland’s ace, Corey Kluber.
“A great team win. It felt like it should be more than one win,” Padres starting pitcher Trevor Cahill said.
The Indians’ lineup is a challenge for any pitcher, and Wednesday night, that challenge will fall to Perdomo.
“They have a deep lineup all up and down,” Cahill said. You’ve just got to try to make your pitches.”
The Cleveland offense has been wildly inconsistent, however. After amassing 14 hits, including three home runs, in an 11-8 victory in Detroit on Sunday, the Indians were shut out on five hits by the Padres on Tuesday. It was the third time in the Indians’ past eight home games that they were held scoreless.
Cleveland went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
“It’s not like we’re not capable of hitting with guys on base,” Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. “It’s not like we don’t have the offense to do it. Just some nights, we press or we swing at the wrong pitches and don’t get it done.”
One Indians hitter who has been getting it done all year is Jose Ramirez, who will be the starting third baseman for the American League in next week’s All-Star Game.
Ramirez is hitting .327, which ranks third in the AL. He is tied for the league lead with five triples, and he tops the league with 46 extra-base hits. Ramirez is also hitting .351 at Progressive Field, the second highest home batting average in the league, behind the .382 mark of the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge.