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Cleveland Indians sweep the Kansas City Royals and have home field advantage for the ALDS

Today's game also featured Yan's first trip to the plate since July. It went well.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 3, Royals 2

Box Score

Indians improve to 94-67


The Cleveland Indians needed to beat the Kansas City Royals today to give them a chance to clinch home field advantage for the ALDS. They won 3-2 thanks to a monster dong from Yan Gomes, an excellent start from Josh Tomlin, and a sacrifice fly from Francisco Lindor. Here's what the Indians needed to complete the clinch today:

  1. The Atlanta Braves to beat the Detroit Tigers
  2. The Orioles to beat the New York Yankees
  3. The Toronto Blue Jays to beat the Boston Red Sox
Here is what the Indians have from their American League Counterparts:

As such the Cleveland Indians lock down home field advantage against the Boston Red Sox for the ALDS. It did not come easily, as the Kansas City Royals played an great game that meant absolutely nothing to them.

Ian Kennedy cruised through the middle innings for the Royals and retired more than a dozen in a row until the eighth inning. Fortunately, the Tribe held the Royals down during that time to keep the tie at 2-2 during the same stretch. In the eighth, Jason Kipnis hit a double to deep right field and moved Carlos Santana to third base. On the next at-bat, Francisco Lindor lifted a ball deep into the outfield and Santana tagged up, giving the Tribe a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish.

That's the brief, one-paragraph recap of today's game, but I want to talk a little bit more about Yan Gomes.

Sing to me of the man, Muse,
the man of twists and turns 
driven time and again off course,
once he had plundered 
the hallowed heights of Cleveland.

Yan Gomes stepped up to the plate in an Indians uniform for the first time since July 17th. He crouched into his stance — slightly altered since the beginning of the season — and waited. He blasted the first pitch over the wall in left center field, scoring Naquin and lifting the hopes of Tribe fans everywhere. Even in his second at-bat, Gomes got a good look; he took two balls and then hit a line drive to third base that Cheslor Cuthbert gobbled up like second breakfast. If Yan Gomes can return to full form for the first time since 2014, then the Indians just upgraded their weakest roster spot for free.

Well, not exactly free. Gomes endured quite a lot in order to make it back before the end of this season.

Now, we wait to see what plans Francona has for the playoff roster. Speaking of which, Andre Knott dropped the following bombs at the end of the eighth inning:

  • Before the game, Mickey Callaway said that Danny Salazar is in the mix to make the ALDS roster. If things keep going the way that they have, he will be on it.
  • Francona also said that he expects to carry three catchers.
Am I a team doctor? No. Blood freaks me out, and if I ever saw a bone I would vomit, thereby infecting and probably killing the patient. However, I wonder whether or not this is too aggressive for Salazar. Would the Tribe benefit from having him on the roster, even if it is just for relief duties? Of course. Will we regret our stupid lives until the day we die if Salazar blows out his UCL because he pushes too hard too soon after multiple setbacks? Yes, according to the Oracle at Delphi. She does phone conferences these days. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

I would not be surprised to see Francona treat the catching position the same way that he did today: start Gomes, but do not push him too hard. Then, insert Gimenez or Perez to finish up the game and catch the relievers. Given the increased importance of Trevor Bauer in the postseason, this also enables Francona to let him keep his preferred battery mate. However well Bauer has done in his last two starts with Perez at the backstop, I would do just about whatever Bauer wants to ensure that he is comfortable and confident going into the postseason at this point.

Terry Francona elected to use both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen for a third consecutive day this afternoon. While I shudder at the thought of using any reliever like that in the modern game (always throwing at 100% effort, constant pitching changes, etc.) that way, I understand it in this context. The Tribe had a chance to lock up home field advantage pending other results in the league, and they are both guaranteed a few days of rest one way or the other after this. It ended up working out, as Miller and Allen shut the opponent down in tandem as they have many times since the trading deadline.

Last note: Roberto Perez threw Terrance Gore out again. It was beautiful.