The Indians won their 8th straight game Friday afternoon, beating the Cubs 7-2 in Mesa, Arizona. It seems the Tribe's domination of Chicago in 2013 has carried over to spring training, and spread to the Windy City's North Side team.
Carlos Carrasco started for the Indians, and while he allowed a 2-run home run to uber prospect Kris Bryant after a Jeff Francoeur error gave Chicago an extra out in the 2nd, Carrasco otherwise looked sharp. He struck out 6 in 3 innings, and didn't issue a single free pass. I'm happy to see those kind of results from the presumtive favorite for the fifth spot in the Tribe rotation, but I want to see what he does once he's pitching 5 or 6 innings, because hus results as a reliever were good last year, it's facing a lineup for the second and third time that's given him more trouble.
Corey Kluber took over next, and he looked great. He allowed only 1 hit and struck out 5 in 3 innings. Kluber will be the team's second or third starter to begin the year, and he's got the stuff to merit that kind of placement. He hasn't walked anyone in 6 innings so far this spring, and has 5 scoreless innings since a rough first appearance.
Vinnie Pestano, Blake Wood, and Bryan Price also each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. None of them allowed a base runner and they combined for 5 strikeouts. The five pitchers who appeared for the Indians today combined for 16 strikeouts against 0 walks and only 4 hits allowed. More like that, please.
Mike Aviles was the offensive star, as hit a home run and stole a base. He was also hit by a pitch in his first PA after the home run. I assume that's because Edwin Jackson doesn't have much command of his pitches. In addition to Aviles, Jason Giambi and Lonnie Chisenhall were also hit by pitches.
Ryan Raburn left the game early with what is being termed a left knee contusion. It is not believed to be serious. He doubled earlier in the game, as did Yan Gomes. Gomes made his second throwing error of the spring, while trying to throw out a base stealer. When another runner took off later in the game, Yan nailed him at second.
(find the full box score here)
The Indians play the Padres tomorrow afternoon, and for the first time all week, the game will be televised on MLB.TV. Plan your Saturday accordingly.