Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Prepare for the postseason with this Cleveland Indians primer

The Indians are going to the postseason! That has been apparent for quite some time -- what with the team going on a stretch of wins that hasn't happened for at least a century. They will begin their playoff run on Thursday with their ALDS opener at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 against the Yankees.

So, as you prepare for the postseason, let this serve as a friendly refresher on the back-to-back AL Central champs. 

Star player

You could argue that Corey Kluber, whose darting curveball and/or slider has given him a decent chance of taking the AL Cy Young Award home at the end of the year, is the face of the Indians.

But let's be real: It's Francisco Lindor and his acrobatic defense that represents the team. Mr. Smile and his surprise 30-home run season have become synonymous with the Cleveland Nine. 


Under-the-radar star

Mike Clevinger sports a hair style that belongs in a 1970's-throwback Richard Linklater film. And, with pinpoint command of four pitches, the hurler has surprised many by striking out more than a batter per inning and posting a 3.13 ERA. Those numbers are remarkably similar to James Paxton, the pitcher that has become the de-facto ace of the Mariners.

With Kluber and Carlos Carrasco on the team, Clevinger's impressive performance has been largely overshadowed by his own teammates. Though he'll begin the postseason in the bullpen, Terry Francona's bullpen usage suggests there's a good chance that Clevinger could still be a difference maker. 

Biggest moment

This one is easy: Trailing the Royals, 2-1, in the bottom of the ninth, it seemed certain that the team's winning streak was going to be halted at 21 games. After all, the team hadn't needed any big comebacks to reach that point -- it simply overpowered its opponents. So, down to its final strike, Lindor blasted a liner to the left-field wall that barely flew beyond Alex Gordon's glove to tie the game. 

Come the next inning, Jay Bruce ended the game with an RBI double: 

Weirdest moment 

The baseballs, man. The baseballs. Are these glorious creations by Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer simply fun pieces of folk art? Or do they play little baseball games between themselves when everyone has gone home for the night like in "Toy Story"? No one knows.

#miniteamcle2017 @mlbcut4 @mlb @mlbvenezuela @bastianmlb #clevelandindians #cleveland

A post shared by Carlos🍪🍪Carrasco (@cookie_carrasco) on

But that's just one person's opinion: For another take on the Indians' season, check out the Cespedes Family BBQ video at the top of the post.