Indians 10, Twins 2
Indians improve to 78-79
Though the ultimate outcome is already known, the Indians did extend their playoff lives by another day with an impressive win in the nightcap of the doubleheader. The Twins could have gone into a tie for the final Wild Card spot with a win, but Cody Anderson and an all-around offensive attack made sure that didn't happen.
Cody Anderson finished his fairy tale season by going seven shutout innings. He only struck out two batters, so most of his outs were made by the fielders behind him. Anderson had faced the Twins last week, so it wasn't as though he surprised the Minnesota hitters with his fastball/change attack. Twins hitters were unable to stay back on his changeup, either slicing it weakly into the stands or rolling over on it. Because that arm deception was working, Anderson didn't run into difficulty all night. Anderson started the calendar year in Arizona, in the midst of re-working his core (in order to be more flexible during his delivery), and that offseason work transformed him from a disappointing AA prospect into an odds-on favorite to make next season's rotation.
Meanwhile the offense came to life, an uncommon happening over the past couple of weeks, though the main instigators were the usual suspects. Francisco Lindor continued his torrid rookie campaign with a home run and a hustle single that set another run, and Jose Ramirez drove in four runs, three of them on this eighth-inning home run.
The home run was a no-doubter, and Ramirez did the trifecta of home run celebrations: he posed at the plate for several seconds, took the bat with him down the line, then flipped it into the air. I believe it was the bat-flipping that brought several Twins players and coaches to the top step in the dugout in protest, and that may turn into something tomorrow. I would imagine that Ramirez hasn't hit too many no-doubters in his professional career, and the Twins had walked Jason Kipnis in order to pitch to him, so when the opportunity came, Ramirez went Full Papi.
After the game:
Jose Ramirez, asked if he was worried if Twins would throw at him Thurs: "It's my bad. If they hit me, I'll take it." (Salazar translated).— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) October 1, 2015
Nolasco on Jose Ramirez's bat-flipping antics: "He'll get his. Don't worry."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) October 1, 2015
Because of the score, the Indians could rest the back end of the bullpen (not that it really matters at this point), using Zach McAllister and Austin Adams to finish the game. Both relievers gave up a solo home run in their inning of work. Adams has been very underwhelming, and has been stuck in the role of mopup duty this season, and that doesn't bode well for future opportunities.
Because the Angels lost tonight, the Indians remain - barely - in playoff contention.
To stay alive into Friday, they'll have to win, and both the Angels and Astros (now tied for the second Wild Card spot) will have to lose. That confluence of events will have to repeat three more times for the makeup game against the Tigers to come into play. Then, if they beat the Tigers, they would play at least one tiebreaker game against the Angels and Astros to make the official postseason. The Astros beating the Mariners late last night makes all this moot. The Indians are now eliminated.
Meanwhile, back in reality, the nightcap was a much-needed tonic for the last three games. Some of the players we saw tonight we won't be seeing in an Indians uniform after Sunday, but several we'll be rooting for for years to come. That the win also cost the Twins dearly in the playoff race was an added bonus.
Win Probability Chart
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