Indians 5, Astros 1
Tribe now 2-1
Following the fine pitching performances that we have already seen this week from Kluber and Carrasco, today's victory featured yet another excellent outing by a Tribe starting pitcher. This time it was the turn of Trevor Bauer, who recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts through six hitless innings in which he left the Astros battered and baffled (video).
Bauer struggled for his control early on, allowing four walks in the first two innings, which caused his pitch count to rocket to 54. However, he assumed complete control after that, allowing only one more walk in the next four IP before being removed at the end of the 6th after throwing 111 pitches. According to Jordan Bastian "Per B-R, Bauer is 1st pitcher since at least 1914 to K at least 11 in no more than 6 IP, allowing no hits in the process."
Meanwhile the Tribe's hitters were feasting on MLB debutant Asher Wojciechowski, recording eight hits and two walks during his four innings of work. But it wasn't just hitting, it was power-hitting, featuring two homers, a Kipnis triple (video) and two doubles.
The Tribe converted lead-off doubles by Bourn and Gomes in each of the first two innings, the former on a Kipnis sac fly (video) and the latter featuring a miraculous slide by the Yanimal to score when it looked like he would be out by a mile (video). Then the power bats really took over, with solo home runs in the 4th and 5th by ... yes, you've guessed it, Perez (video) and Ramirez (video). The latter then displayed terrific baserunning in the 7th when, after taking a walk, he stole 2nd, was advanced on a groundout, and then made a spectacular dash and slide to convert the run. Bourn, Ramirez, Kipnis and Perez all had dual-hit outings, but Brandon Moss hasn't managed a hit yet this year.
Once Bauer was removed, Crockett and Atchison both kept the Astros hitless (while allowing a walk apiece), before Hagadone unfortunately allowed the Astros to avoid the shutout by giving up a homer to Jed Lowrie. The Tribe's pitchers combined for a whopping 16 strikeouts on the night.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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