Indians advance to 50-59
A lot of Cleveland Indians games have been all but over in the first couple innings, but few have ended on a happy note for the Tribe. That changed tonight when the Indians offense pounded opposing starter Ervin Santana early, knocked him out of the game in just the third inning, and continued beating on the Minnesota Twins bullpen on their way to a blowout victory.
The onslaught started in the bottom of the first when Michael Brantley singled to score Jose Ramirez, who himself singled to lead off the game for the Tribe. Lonnie Chisenhall would single later on in the inning to put the Indians up 2-1, and then the offense was relentless from then on out.
In the second, Ramirez again made some noise by tripling to score newcomer, Abraham Almonte. The duo of Ramirez and Almonte was dynamite tonight on their own. Ramirez was a home run shy of the cycle, and Almonte went 4-for-5 with a home run in his Cleveland debut. Even defensively, somewhere that he was especially disappointing to start the season, Ramirez looked superb at second base and made some great stops and difficult double play conversions.
The game was arguably never completely out of hand for the Twins until the third inning. A Giovanny Urshela single scored Yan Gomes to put the Indians up 5-1, a Jose Ramirez double scored another two runs and finally Francisco Lindor notched his second of third sacrifice hits of the night to make the finally tally 8-1 after three.
Jerry Sands (our great king, long may he live), took the dagger that was already in the Twins chest and shoved it in further with a fifth-inning grand slam. The Grand Sandslami was the first for the Tribe this season, and the first of Sands’ short, yet majestic, career.
From then on the game would have been over if the Major Leagues had a mercy rule, especially in the eighth inning. Almonte capped off his spectacular debut with a home run off reliever A.J. Achter, then not-a-pitcher Shane Robinson walked Mike Aviles with the bases loaded and allowed another run when Carlos Santana hit a grounder to third base. While he looked great the rest of the night, Jerry Sands was called out looking on a pitch from a position player, which is kind of hilarious.
The offensive explosion was a very good thing for Trevor Bauer. He did not look great tonight, giving up three home runs and walking three in six and one-third innings of work. Ultimately, it does not matter, of course, seeing as the Indians won by a landslide, but if this were a close game Bauer’s poor outing would be the talking point. Other than Ryan Webb, who allowed two hits in only one and one-third innings, the bullpen held down the fort for the final few innings in the lowest leverage situations imaginable.
This also marked the Major League debut of Shawn Armstrong, who was promoted in light of Cody Anderson’s trip to the disabled list with a strained oblique.
Win Expectancy Chart
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