Here's to another great week!
Indians 4, Tigers 0
The Indians secured a rare series win in Detroit thanks to an excellent outing from Cody Anderson and some big hits from Francisco Lindor, Abraham Almonte, and Michael Martinez. Anderson threw seven scoreless innings, striking out three and racking up 12 groundouts. With the win, the Indians improved to 66-69 and helped improve their slim Wild Card hopes.
The rookie shortstop already has 11 sacrifice bunts this year and was trying to add to that total on Sunday. A break in the action and a message from manager Terry Francona got him to change his plan. From Bastian:
Standing in the batter's box, Lindor was planning on bunting. "I just yelled at him," Francona said. "He turned around and I yelled at him to go ahead and hit."
Lindor did more than just hit. With runners on first and second base and no outs, Lindor drilled a 92-mph fastball from Tigers starter Justin Verlander to deep center for a game-changing triple.
Also of note is this dandy quote from Lindor about critics who want him to bunt less and swing away more:
"I'm playing my game," said Lindor, who is batting .351 in the second half. "I'm playing for the Indians to win. I'm not playing because the fans tell me to go and hit. I don't play for that. I play to help this team win.
The 24-year-old lefty made his Major League debut Saturday and is expected to get more opportunities for the Indians this September. Soto made 46 appearances for Triple-A Columbus this year, owning a 2.68 ERA.
Minor League guru John Sickels digs deeper on Tribe pitching prospect Mike Clevinger, who had a very strong season for Double-A Akron this year. From Sickels:
He's not doing this with smoke and mirrors: Clevinger can hit 96 MPH, both his slider and curveball flash plus, he's made good progress with the change-up, and he throws strikes. He has a workhorse body and while it took some time to make the full recovery from Tommy John, he's shown no problems with stamina this year, finishing the season very strongly (20/2 K/BB in last 20 innings, just two runs and 11 hits allowed).
Around the League
Kris Bryant's blast off a 95 mph Rubby De La Rosa fastball was estimated to have traveled 495 feet. Anybody doubt he'll eventually hit one 500+ feet?
Another Cub who's pretty darn special. Brody gives a detailed look at just how good the Cubs ace has been (0.43 ERA in August is rather amazing).