Game 129: Indians 3, Astros 1
Tribe improves to 66-63
Trevor Bauer did exactly what he needed to do to best the Houston Astros - strike them out and keep the ball in the yard. Houston sports the lowest number of hits and most strikeouts of any team in the American League, but they're also 2nd in the league in home runs. Their hits won't hurt you if you can keep them from leaving the yard, and Bauer did just that today, fanning 9 along the way.
He scattered 4 hits and 2 walks over his 6+ innings, so the bases always had someone onboard, but he kept himself away from the big hit. One thing has become apparent to me getting to watch Trevor this year - he has an incredible ceiling. His breaking pitches can make hitters look foolish and he has enough velocity to pump the fastball passed them. His biggest enemy seems to be himself. And, no, I don't mean this in a mental fortitude sorta way. I mean control. When he loses the feel for his pitches, he tends to fall behind and get himself into trouble. He doesn't give in a lot, which leads to his high walk totals, but it also puts mean on for that back breaking extra base hit, if it comes. As Trevor learns to better manage that feel as he ages, he should only get better.
The Indians themselves didn't get a whole lot in the big hit department, but they got enough. Michael Bourn singled to lead off the 3rd and was followed promptly by a Jose Ramirez double. With one out, Carlos Santana brought Bourn in to score on a sacrifice fly to center. They'd score again in the next inning, with Lonnie Chisenhall bringing in Mike Aviles who had doubled(!) in front of him.
In the 7th, they'd add one more, the hard way. Chisenhall singled to lead off the inning and Roberto Perez was obviously going up there with the intention of sacrificing. Instead, Oberholtzer threw to 1st after Jon Singleton had vacated the bag. The balk moved Chisenhall to second, where Perez was still asked to bunt him over. This, of course, put Chisenhall on third with Bourn at the plate, who is probably the worst on the team at putting the ball in the air. As you might expect, he didn't put the ball in the air and Chisenhall was now standing on 3rd with 2 outs. Luckily for the home team, Jose Ramirez would sneak a ball just past the glove of the Marwin Gonzalez to bring home Chisenhall for the 3rd run of the game.
The Astros scored their only run in the 8th of Shaw, by taking the ball away from the shift on both a single and a double. They might have score more earlier in the game, if it had not been for the great defense of Tyler Holt. Holt made two great diving catches in the 1st and the 6th. Tyler Holt deserves to keep playing.
Cody Allen worked for the 3rd night in a row and closed the game out, but with a little flair. Some BABIP baseball by the Astros would load the bases with 2 outs, but Cody would fan Dexter Fowler to shut the door and quell the rally. The Indians are now 3 games over .500 and jumped in front of Toronto would lost today to the Rays.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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