Game 109: Indians 12, Rangers 2
Tribe improves to 54-55
Oh my gosh, what if the presence of Asdrubal Cabrera is all that was holding this offense back, and the Indians are going to score a dozen runs every game from here on out?!
(Just kidding, Asdrubal, you were doing alright, and I'm going to miss you.)
Whatever the case, the lineup came to play tonight, scoring the most runs they've plated since that wild 17-7 win almost two months ago. Come to think of it, that game was against Texas too. Can the Indians just play the Rangers for the rest of the season?
Lonnie Chisenhall was the big hero of that game in June, when he had 5 hits, including 3 home runs, and drove in 9 runs. He didn't match that tonight, but he did hit one homer, and it was the first one he's hit for a full month. He was never going to stay as hot as he was for the first three months of the season, but hopefully he ca hit more than one dinger a month going forward.
David Murphy had 4 hits tonight, including 2 doubles, speaking of guys who've cooled way down after a strong start to the year. Michael Brantley had 3 hits, including a double, speaking of guys who've been hot pretty much all season. Carlos Santana had a single and 2 walks, speaking of guys who started the season really slowly, but have been super hot for more than two months now, and totally deserve to be named American League Player of the Month for July. Mike Aviles had...
You know what, let me cut to the chase: All nine Tribe starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run, the first time all season that the full lineup has done that. It's nice to have a game like that, so no one feels left out, and resentful of their teammates' success.
Tyler Holt didn't have any hits or score any runs, but he did get his first MLB trip to the plate, after entering the game as a defensive substitution once the Indians had blown the game open with 6 runs in the 5th inning. Holt was hit by a pitch his first time up, making him the first Indian to be hit by a pitch in his first career PA since Jake Striker in 1959. He'll always have that bruise to remember the moment by. (Yes, I know that bruise will heal, but work with me, people!)
In between scoring all those runs, the Indians did have to take the field and try to play a little defense. Danny Salazar was tasked with trying to pitch in front of that defense. He started off the 2nd inning with back-to-back walks, which had a lot of Tribe fans fearing what we saw from him too many times at the start of the season. Oh crud, he's going to walk a bunch of guys, then give up a 420-foot home run.
Instead, Salazar got out of the inning without any runs scoring, though it should be noted that a nice throw by David Murphy deserves much of the credit for that.
Salazar did allow one run in the 5th, though it should be noted that a bad play by David Murphy deserves much of the blame for that.
Salazar went 6 innings, and probably could have pitched the 7th, if the offense hadn't made such an effort unnecessary by that point. The 3 walks and hit batter aren't what you want to see, but he only allowed 4 hits, and it's hard to argue with a guy who allows only an unearned run in 6 innings of work.
The Rangers have the worst record in baseball right now, so there's no great glory in beating them. On the other hand, a win is a win right now, and a 12-2 win is a 12-2 win. The Indians could really use two more victories this weekend, to get themselves back above .500 and get back to the look of a team that might really be a contender.
We shall see.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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