Brewers 4, Indians 3
Trevor Bauer was the starter for the Tribe in Saturday afternoon's Cactus League finale. He gave up another home run, but aside from that did well, striking out eight while walking zero. If you've read much of what I've written during the last month, you already know those are the two pitching stats from spring training with the most predictive value for the regular season, and Bauer's 18:1 K:BB ratio is very encouraging.
You could cut that ratio in half, then cut one of the halves in half, and you'd still have a really impressive 4.5 K/BB. That isn't to say Bauer will post that strong a number, but I'm confident he's going to do a lot better than last season's 2.38. As I said a few days ago, I feel better about Bauer right now than I have at any point since the Indians first acquired him. I believe he's poised to become a good MLB pitcher this year.
Nick Hagadone and Kyle Crocket each put in a scoreless inning of work after Bauer's day ended, while Austin Adams (the final player on the Opening Day 25-man roster) gave up a run in the 9th, ending the game, and raising his spring ERA to an unseemly 8.10. Obviously his results will have to be a whole lot better during the regular season, or he's going to find himself in Columbus before April is out.
David Murphy and Mike Aviles each had a pair of singles on the day, and Lonnie Chisenhall had two doubles, but the offensive highlight of the afternoon for the Tribe was Brandon Moss' team-leading 5th home run of the spring. He's been swinging the bat really well, and seems ready to have a big year. Acquiring him for only Joe Wendle could look like an absolute steal by the time late summer arrives.
The Indians wrap up spring training with a record of 14-18. That doesn't mean anything, but seems worth mentioning all the same, just as a bit of record keeping.
Players will pack up this evening and head for Houston tomorrow. Monday night they'll face the Astros on Opening Day. Corey Kluber will be on the mound. We're 48 hours from the real baseball!