You know how to beat the Chicago Cubs? Throw a pitcher against them for the first time. That is what they’ll do Wednesday as they send Adam Plutko to the mound for the Cleveland Indians.
For the Chicago Cubs, it will be an interesting go of it. The Cleveland Indians’ will send Adam Plutko to the mound for his first start against the Cubs. It doesn’t matter that it’s his second time facing a Major League club. It’s that it’s his first time facing the Cubs, and that should give him a leg up in the in the matchup, in theory.
It doesn’t seem to matter that they have the group of Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo or others on their side. When a team throws a player against them for the first time, the Cubs just look lost. Whether they have poor scouting or a tough time game planning, the Cubs seem to suffer a bit from the new pitcher.
Taking on Plutko
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In this case, the pitcher is Adam Plutko. In his only other start, he pitched 7 1/3 innings of three runs on six hits in a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
He was sent back down after the doubleheader, but this time it looks like he’ll get a decent look. And if he doesn’t fail, his time should be extended.
Strong in Columbus
In his time in Columbus, Plutko is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA in seven starts. He’s struck out 35, walked nine, and allowed 27 hits in 44 innings. Very solid numbers for a kid who’s just 26 years old.
Terry Francona is looking for a guy who can pitch. This man could be it. So the Indians will do their due diligence with him.
When Plutko was drafted in the 11th round of 2012, he was dealing with a torn labrum in his right hip. He went 7-12 with a 5.90 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) at Columbus. It was clear the issue had its way with him, and in October he had surgery on his hip.
The Cubs will have to do what they can with Plutko. Taking pitches will be critical. He threw 104 pitches against the Jays. Part of that is that Francona knows his bullpen isn’t his strong suit. He needs to get as many innings as he can from Plutko. It’s up to the Cubs hitters to do damage and get him out of there.