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Cleveland Indians come to life in a 10-1 blowout of the Tigers

So...this is what it feels like to obliterate a division rival. I approve.

When you mess with The Yanimal, you get hurt.
When you mess with The Yanimal, you get hurt.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 10, Tigers 1

Box Score

Indians improve to 8-7


In a season of 162 games, this is the type of game that will stick out as one of the biggest highlights regardless of the overall outcome of the year.  It came right after a white-knuckle pitching duel the night before, it was against a despised division rival, and we were missing our star player.  If we could play all of our games like this, it would be an incredibly fun summer.

The Detroit Tigers are notorious for making the Cleveland Indians look like fools.  Today, the script was flipped as the Tribe trounced the Tigers by a score of 10-1.  There are so many positives that happened in this game, it's hard to highlight all of them.  But here are the big ones.

The offense came alive in a huge way today from the very beginning of the game.  Before Tribe ace Corey Kluber threw a pitch, the Tribe was up 3-0 after Kip, Lindor, Gomes, and Ramirez all got on base via hit or walk.  The third run in the inning came on a wild throw from Tigers' catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia that sailed into center field, allowing Yan Gomes to come home.  Yan had quite the day at the plate today, driving in a career high 5 RBIs and being just a triple shy of the cycle.  Resident jinx-maker Jason Lukehart recently wrote about Yanimal's slow start, and the Lukehart Effect really helped put the game well out of reach.

The first inning, however, was just a small taste of what the Indians' offense would do today.  In the third inning, the Tribe knocked Tigers' starter Anibal Sanchez out of the game after just 2.1 innings when they scored another 5 runs in the inning.  Salty made another bad throw that allowed Lindor to steal second base at the top of the inning.  Next, Napoli lined a sharp base hit into right field to put runners at the corners with nobody out.  The Yanimal stepped to the plate and, on the next pitch, launched a beautifully arching shot out into left field to put the Tribe up 6-0.  But the fun wasn't done there.  Chisenhall, recently activated from the DL, got in on the hit parade with a triple, followed by Tyler Naquin's first extra base hit of his MLB career (note: there is speculation that, when Brantley returns, Naquin will be sent down to make roster room.  I am vehemently against this; Naquin has easily earned his spot on this roster).  All in all, the Indians sent ten men to the plate in the third before Lindor popped out to second baseman Ian Kinsler to end the inning.

Now, I've talked a lot about the offense shenanigans from today, but I have yet to touch on the other dominating factor, and that was Corey Kluber.  After having a rocky start to the season, Kluber roared back with his best outing of the year and completely silenced a normally dangerous Detroit Tigers' lineup.  Kluber pitched 8 innings (exactly 100 pitches) and only gave up two hits while racking up 10 strikeouts and no walks.  His velocity on his fastball was sitting at around 94 throughout the game, and his cut fastball had some devastating bite to it all day.  No one was more frustrated with Kluber than Justin Upton, who struck out 3 times today (and now leads the league with 30 strikeouts).  Sadly, Upton (and a handful of other starters) was pulled in the 8th, so he didn't get a chance to go for the golden sombrero.

The Cleveland Indians needed to get length from their starter and they needed a healthy lead because closer Cody Allen was not available to pitch today.  Thankfully, they got both and silenced a crowd of ~31,000 Tiger fans.  All in all, it was a fantastic day of Tribe baseball.

Source: FanGraphs

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Tomorrow, the Tribe goes for the sweep!