Indians improve to 59-66
Josh Tomlin didn't exactly ride the wave of unicorns and rainbows through tonight's game. He started off doing Josh Tomlin things, and left the game doing Josh Tomlin things. But in between, he found a bit of his 2015 magic and in the end, it didn't matter. The offense exploded for 11 runs to help the Tribe take game one of the short two-game set.
The homeruns started almost immediately, as Jonathan Lucroy teed off to give the Brewers a 1-0 advantage in the 1st. The Indians wasted no time fighting back, as Jason Kipnis led off with a double. Francisco Lindor then executed a sac bunt. With a runner on second in the 1st inning. It's a good thing Tito ordered him to give up this at bat, though, since the the next three hitters walked, doubled, and singled. It's doubly good because Lindor only managed three hits the rest of the night. But I digress.
The Indians finished the 1st inning up 2-1, but Josh Tomlin was just as eager to give away the lead this time as he was the first time, giving up a solo shot to Domingo Santana. It was starting to look like it'd be a long night, but the Little Cowboy was just settling in. He would go on to retire the next 13 batters before giving up a third dinger, this time ta two-run shot by Ryan Braun (which would have been a three-run shot had Milwaukee challenged a dubious tag-out play on the previous batter). Fortunately, the Tribe put up some crooked numbers in between Tomlin's taters.
Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor lead the charge. They went back-to back with an RBI double and RBI single respectively in the 2nd. Just for funsies they swapped in the 5th, with Kip contributing the RBI single this time and Lindor doubling him in. In between the new bash bros breakout, Michael Brantley crushed a solo shot in the 4th. By the time Josh Tomlin finished the 6th, the Indians were ahead with a comfortable 9-4 lead.
Ryan Webb threw a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but couldn't resist the urge to pay tribute to his starter. With one on in the 8th, he served a meatball to Lucroy who deposited the ball high into the LF bleachers to bring the Brewers within three runs. In a game where they had managed to score nine runs already, the Indians were now in search of a few insurance runs. When Francisco Lindor came to bat, there was one out and no one on, and so with no available sarifice opportunity, Lindor did the only thing he could: tally another hit. Dr. Smooth, not wanting to be outdone by Lucroy, stepped up to crush a decisive two-run bomb to put the game out of reach. Cody Allen pitched a dominant 9th, striking out the side as the Indians cruised to victory.
It's not too often you see the Tribe win a shootout these days, and it sure would have been nice if they could have scored a few more for Kluber yesterday, but I'll take it. Kipnis and Brantley made strong contributions to their batting title campaigns - they're now sitting 1 & 2 at .324 and .320 respectively. Frankie Lindor continues to make his case for ROY, and could have made a better case had he not been forced to give away one at bat. Yes, I know I'm harping on that, but I can't get over how stupid a sacrifice bunt in the 1st inning is. But whatever, man, a win is a win. It's all about the W's, right?
Win Expectancy Chart
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