TORONTO — The Indians' pitching staff has stifled what had been baseball's hottest lineup through the first two games of the American League Championship Series.
Now, one of the key cogs in the heart of that batting order has suggested there might be something to it beyond some good pitching.
On Sunday, slugger Jose Bautista said "circumstances" are working against the Blue Jays, who averaged 6.75 runs per game in the postseason entering this series but have scored just one run through the first two games of the ALCS.
"All you gotta do is look at video and count how many times (Indians pitchers have) thrown pitches over the heart of the plate," Bautista said. "It hasn't been many. They've been able to do that because of the circumstances that I'm not trying to talk about because I can't. That's for you guys to do but you guys don't really want to talk about that either."
Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus looked into the matter and discovered that Bautista's claims are unfounded. Per FX pitch data, the home plate umpires in the first two games missed 21 calls — 11 for the Blue Jays and 10 for the Indians.
The Indians' Twitter account poked some fun at Bautista's claim, responding to the report on Twitter with pictures of Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen and the word "circumstances."