CLEVELAND — After falling short a season ago, the Cleveland Indians are once again postseason bound.
On Tuesday, the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on a Jose Ramirez walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, to improve their record on the season to 31-24. With that, Cleveland clinched a spot in the expanded 2020 MLB Playoffs, which will consist of eight teams in the American League and eight teams in the National League.
The Indians' return to the postseason comes amid a season unlike any other in MLB history. As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a shortened 60-game season didn't begin until July 23, with some teams missing multiple games during the campaign due to coronavirus outbreaks.
The unique nature of the 2020 MLB season was only amplified in Cleveland with manager Terry Francona missing the bulk of the Indians' games due to health issues. Cleveland first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has served as the Indians' interim manager in place of the 2-time World Series champion manager.
While Cleveland has laid claim to one of the best starting pitching staffs in all of baseball -- even after dealing Mike Clevinger to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline -- the Indians offense has struggled to consistently score runs. As of Monday, Cleveland is currently slotted as the No. 7 seed in the American League Playoffs, which would pit the Indians against the No. 2-seeded White Sox is the best-of-three Wild Card round.
While all games in the best-of-three Wild Card round will be played at the higher seed's home ballpark, the divisional round, league championship round and World Series will each be played at neutral site "bubbles" locations, with the World Series taking place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The 2020 MLB Playoffs are scheduled to begin on Sept. 29.