A majority of Cleveland Indians losses this season could be chalked up to dumb luck; at least the lineup was making solid contact and hitting the ball hard. That was not the case tonight, as any Indians batter not named Francisco Lindor looked lost at the plate against Minnesota Twins pitching.
With Jason Kipnis still shelved with an injury and Michael Brantley now out until at least tomorrow, the Tribe lineup was dominated by first-time starter, Tyler Duffy. Oddly enough, Duffy did not seem to have a lot working besides a breaking ball. But the Indians hitters helped him out by chasing it no matter where he threw it, leading to a no-hit bid for Duffy well into the sixth inning. Even if Lindor did not break up the potential no-hitter with a double, there is no guarantee Duffy would have been able to finish the game. Thanks to four walks and a whole lot of long at-bats, he was already approaching 100 pitches by the time he left the game.
The Indians did manage to avoid being shut out for the first time since August 4, thanks to a Roberto Perez double in the ninth.
I cannot possibly heap enough praise on Francisco Lindor, and he just kept earning it tonight. Not only was he the team’s biggest offensive contributor (again), going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, but he was also a tremendous gift on defense. He had an out-of-character error on a short hop to first, despite having all the time in the world to set up his throw, but he made it up later with this gem of a diving stop that induced an inning-ending double play.
While the offense was a wet sock tonight, Josh Tomlin looked commendable as he continues to try to work back from Tommy John surgery. He did allow two home runs (I mean, he still is Josh Tomlin after all), but one of the homers was off a pitch that Eddie Rosario had no business hitting out of the park. A fastball up on his hands that would have been a pop up at best 99% of the time found its way into the stands. The other home run given up by Tomlin was to the very next batter, Chris Herrmann. Unlike Rosario, this was a clear mistake pitch by Tomlin that was annihilated.
Either way, good pitch or bad pitch, it was enough to keep the anemic Indians offense at arms length until the game mercifully ended in a quick two and a half hours.
Win Expectancy Chart
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