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Friday Game Thread: Trevor Bauer tries to keep faint Tribe playoff hopes alive

Today is September 19, and amazingly the Indians still have a (small) chance of making the playoffs.

This is Trevor Bauer. He does have a mouth, trust me.
This is Trevor Bauer. He does have a mouth, trust me.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians @ Houston Astros

Friday, September 20, 2014, 8:10 ET, Target Field



Series Preview

Today's Lineups

Michael Bourn - CF Danny Santana - SS
Jose Ramirez - SS Brian Dozier - 2B
Michael Brantley - DH Joe Mauer - 1B
Carlos Santana - 1B Kennys Vargas - DH
David Murphy - RF Trevor Plouffe - 3B
Lonnie Chisenhall - 3B Kurt Suzuki - C
Mike Aviles - 2B Oswaldo Arcia - RF
J.B. Shuck - LF Aaron Hicks - CF
Roberto Perez - C Jordan Schafer - LF
Trevor Bauer - RHP Phil Hughes - RHP

There are 10 games left (the suspended game vs the Royals plus 9 full games), and the Indians still have a small but tangible shot at making the postseason. They took three out of four against the Astros thanks to stellar pitcher, and given how anemic the offense has been this month, that stellar pitching must continue over final 10 days of the season.

Trevor Bauer, who has been the weakest link in the rotation this month, faces off against Minnesota's best starting pitcher, Phil Hughes. On paper this seems to be the most unfavorable matchup of the weekend. But given that there is just about no margin for error now, the Indians are going to have to win this one despite what the piece of paper says should happen.

Today's Games That Matter

Toronto (-2.0) at New York (-1.0), 7:05 PM (Buehrle vs Kuroda)

Detroit (+5.0) at Kansas City (+4.5), 8:10 PM (Verlander vs Vargas)

Seattle (+3.0) at Houston, 8:10 PM (Walker vs Peacock)

Philadelphia at Oakland (+4.0), 9:35 PM (Buchanan vs Lester)