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Cleveland Indians complete sweep of Detroit Tigers, but do not escape unscathed

The taste of victory is bittersweet while we await word on the status of Carlos Carrasco.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 6, Tigers 3

Box Score

Indians advance to 9-7


Carlos Carrasco died in a fireball on the field today in Detroit. That's what I learned from checking social media this afternoon, anyway.

Both team's starters left the game today for fairly unusual reasons. Shane Greene succumbed to a blister in the fourth, and Carlos Carrasco left after something funny happened on the way to first base. Stupid, bizarre injuries seem to be rarer in other sports. A quarterback gets blindsided by a linebacker and has a few broken ribs and a concussion. This is sensible. A defensive midfielder in soccer changes directions too quickly, her cleat gets caught in the turf, and she crumples to the ground with a torn ACL. Again, a perfectly understandable occurrence. Then, Carrasco runs to cover first base, and maybe he stepped on a rock. Maybe he looped his belt too tightly and it messed up his stride. Maybe the trickster god Loki cast a dark spell from the left field bleachers. These are all equally stupid but entirely possible scenarios.

Remember, this is a sport where the following injuries actually happened:

Tom Glavine broke a rib vomiting.
Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game because his cup pinched a testicle.
Vince Coleman missed the World Series in 1985 after getting attacked by...the tarp. THE TARP ATE HIM.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that Cookie doesn't miss much time. Despite his early departure, the Indians enjoyed a comfortable lead for most of the afternoon and pulled out the brooms to complete the sweep. The Indians sit two games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014 season, and continue to avoid digging the early hole they've dug so well in seasons past.

There are still moments, however, when baseball likes to remind us how quickly luck can turn. The game appeared to be in jeopardy in the eighth when Bryan Shaw gave up a couple of quick hits and a run. Brad Ausmus came out and asked Shaw to removed a rubber ring that he wears under his wedding band, and then came back out to make sure that it was removed. Yes. Because a man who just gave up several hits and has struggled all season is clearly doctoring the ball. Well reasoned, Brad, and well argued.

After the delay, Shaw walked another batter and loaded the bases, and Ausmus brought Miguel Cabrera to the plate. In previous appearances against the Indians, Cabrera has flattened orphanages and snorted the souls of dead puppies. Mickey Callaway replaced Shaw with Jeff Manship, and the battle began: two outs, Cabrera representing the go-ahead run, the Indians shot at a sweep on the line. Miggy fought to a full count, but Manship jammed him into foul-ground pop fly, where Santana reeled it in after juking around the first base ump. Crisis averted.

Another excellent day for Cleveland at the plate carried the day. Jose Ramirez and Marlon Byrd each chipped in to RBIs. Roberto Perez drew three more walks and is currently slashing .000/.500/.000 for the season. Everyone's favorite human Francisco Lindor reached base in four out of five plate appearances and scored twice, driving his slash stats up to 323/.391/.419 this April.

We must also nod in appreciation at the work done by the bullpen. Trevor Bauer came in with one out remaining in the third. His line, when it was all said and done: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K, which is pretty good on such short notice. Zach McAllister provided another scoreless inning in relief, and has yet to allow a run this season. While Shaw struggled again and was publicly interrogated about his fidelity, Manship put out the fire and Allen shut the door in the ninth.

Looking ahead, the Indians play three against the Twins, and then two in Philadelphia. Both teams have a run differential worse than -20, so the Indians have an excellent shot to pick up at least three more wins before returning for another homestand against the Tigers on May 3rd.

MVP of the game: Bryan Shaw's wedding ring.

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Source: FanGraphs

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