Indians advance to 53-60
Giving up a three-run home run is not a good way to start a game against anyone, let alone the New York Yankees, but that is exactly what Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer did tonight. Brian McCann let loose a bomb that scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to give the Yankees the lead -- and they never gave it back.
There was a point during this season where it looked like Bauer’s home run troubles were behind him (or at the very least reduced), but that does not appear to be the case with his last two starts. This game was particularly ugly as he allowed that McCann homer in the first then a solo by Stephen Drew in the second inning. The next two hits that lead to Yankee scores, doubles from Stephen Drew and Brett Gardner in the fourth, were hard-hit doubles. It is not difficult to imagine an alternate reality where they get a bit more of the ball and Bauer winds up giving up four home runs instead of two.
Regardless, with Bauer’s poor outing the Indians continually found themselves down tonight. The good news is they never took rolled over. It took the Tribe offense until the third inning to get rolling, but even down 4-0 they were fighting. Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly is not the ideal way to score, but it lead into Carlos Santana getting a singled of his own that scored Jose Ramirez to bring the Tribe within two.
Bauer instantly killed this mini-rally by allowing the aforementioned doubles to Drew and Gardener.
The offense would go silent from there until the sixth when Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall hit home runs with a double and a single, respectively. Entering that sixth inning, the Tribe were down 7-2 and the team could have easily been dead in the water. But they at least attempted a comeback, which is more than could be said about this team in any other number of high-scoring games throughout this season.
Even being down the entire game by as much as five runs, the Yankees were never able to sail through the game. In large part this is thanks to the bullpen locking down the Yankee lineup where Bauer could not. Kyle Crockett did allow a Brett Gardner single that scored a run, but that goes down as the Yankee’s sole run against the bullpen in this game.
Francisco Lindor also helped by proving just how great of a young shortstop he is. We already know about his defense prowess, but he proved tonight he has a bat as well. He was 2-for-3 on the night, including a walk and some great baserunning that lead to scoring two runs. Lindor has been on fire since the All-Star break, and we have to wonder how many more great offense games he needs to have before Terry Francona stops having him sacrifice bunt so often.
It is hard to tell how things would play out if one scenario was changed, but the main reason Drew scored on that Gardner hit was Chris Johnson being atrocious at first base. He botched at least two plays at first that I recall. One of them would up an error tallied to Giovanny Urshela, even though an experienced first baseman (heck, even Carlos Santana) would likely have been able to scoop a short hop. Johnson has had some bright spots in his short time on the Tribe, but between tonight and last night I need to keep silently repeating to myself "The Indians no longer have to pay Swisher, the Indians no longer have to play Swisher" every time he blows an easy play or swings at a pitch a mile outside of the strike zone.
I live in New York and – thanks to those wonderful MLB blackout rules – had to watch the Yankee broadcast instead of watching my usual stream through MLB.tv. Normally when this happens I’ll just mute the TV and listen to Hamilton on the radio stream, but instead I thought I’d give the Yankee broadcast a shot and see what they had to say about the Indians. Here are a few of the notes I jotted down during the game:
- They like Carlos Santana more than the Indians broadcast team does. More than a lot of fans, even.
- They pronounce Thome as "Toe-may"
- "When you think about the '90s Yankees, the Indians were every bit as good." Yes.
- They panic early. Up 7-4, two outs in the seventh and they were worried about losing. I'm so used to Undermanning not really caring/paying attention to what is going on with the score.
- Even they're still amazed by Dellin Betances.
- They couldn't help but mention Joba Chamberlain.
- Watching the opposing team's broadcast during a loss sucks
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