When Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista alluded to the idea that “circumstances” beyond the team’s control were contributing to the results in the ALCS on Sunday, the Cleveland Indians‘ Twitter account provided a simpler line of reasoning.
The team’s account tweeted pictures of Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen and Josh Tomlin, who have quieted a Blue Jays’ offence that had a strong ALDS against the Texas Rangers. The quartet pictured have combined for 17.2 innings of one-run ball with 24 strikeouts and only 10 hits allowed in the series.
Umpiring has been a concern in the first two games of the ALCS, but there is little concrete evidence to support the idea the officiating has favoured either team disproportionately. In fact, Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus reviewed the Brooks Baseball data and discovered the missed calls were almost identical on each side.
While the Indians’ Twitter account is clearly having fun at Bautista’s expense, there’s also some truth to their tongue-in-cheek response. The quality of the team’s pitching in the series so far has been excellent, and Cleveland’s ability to shut down a Blue Jays club that struggled mightily to score runs as recently as late September is neither particularly surprising nor remotely suspicious.