Brandon Moss and his two remaining years of team control were acquired on the cheap this offseason, with the Tribe giving up only infield prospect Joe Wendle, who was not among the team's dozen or so best minor league talents, and who didn't seem especially likely to pass all the guys ahead of him and become a significant contributor for the team. Why was Moss so easily gotten? Concerns over his health. After a huge first half last year, he was slowed way down by a hip injury. He was feeling good enough to hit two home runs in Oakland's Wild Card Game loss, but concerns about his health and his rising cost via arbitration made him less desirable for the A's, and so here he is.
Seattle has Felix Hernandez on the mound, but the Tribe lineup was not bothered. Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, Jason Kipnis walked, Michael Brantley drove in a run with a base hit, Carlos Santana drove in a run with a ground out, and then Moss hit a long fly ball over the wall in right-center field.
That's the sort of thing the top of this lineup is built for, and while we won't see four runs from them in the 1st inning every day (or even most days, of course), it shouldn't be a total rarity either.
Things went almost as well in the 2nd, as Jose Ramirez walked and stole a base, Bourn doubled in a run, Brantley took his base after being hit by a pitch, and Santana doubled in two more runs, giving the Indians a 7-4 lead. (Bruce Chen didn't do much better than Felix today, giving up home runs to Rickie Weeks and Nelson Cruz.) Hernandez was lifted from the game at that point, a tough day at the office in his final appearance before Opening Day.
Moss singled in another run in the 6th, and Austin Adams (still in the running for a spot in the bullpen on the Opening Day roster) gave a a pair of runs in the 8th, making the final score 8-6.
It was a good day at the plate for the Indians. They'll look to keep it going on Wednesday, when they take on the Giants at 4:05 ET. Nick Swisher is scheduled to DH. My understanding is that would mean he is not eligible to join the Indians until at least April 16. Oh yeah, also of note for tomorrow: Your scheduled starting pitchers are Corey Kluber and Madison Bumgarner. Sadly, there will be no TV broadcast, because the world hates you.