Indians 7, Red Sox 6
Indians improve to 1-1
I'm going to try something a bit different tonight. Everything before the conclusion will be written while the game happens. I'll divide this recap into innings, with a recap after every inning. In this way the recap will be done faster, and you'll get to see my awful predictions and my overreactions while watching the game along with you.
Carlos Carrasco was throwing in the mid-90s from the opening pitch, though many of his pitches were up in the zone. Blew away Mookie Betts, but Dustin Pedroia caught up with a letter-high heater and smacked it onto the right-field warning track. Carrasco walked Bogaerts, then David Ortiz hit a line drive right at Jose Ramirez. He fell behind Hanley Ramirez 3-0, but got out of the jam by somehow fielding a screaming one-hopper that he caught in self-defense.
After Clay Buchholz struck out Francisco Lindor, the Indians teed off on him. Jose Ramirez, making his season debut, smacked a lined into center field, then Jason Kipnis plugged the right field gap, sending home Ramirez (who, as always, lost his helmet in transit). After Mike Napoli walked on four pitches, Buchholz fell behind 3-1 to Carlos Santana. Carlos jumped on a pitch up in the zone and crushed it over the right field fence into the bullpen, and the Indians led 4-0
Travis Shaw opened the inning with a leadoff double down the left field line. Then Brock Holt smashed a two-run home over the right field seats to cut the lead to 4-2. Carrasco has been having problems keeping the ball down in the zone. After almost giving up another home run (Blake Swihart drove Tyler Naquin to the wall in center), he attacked Jackie Brandley Jr with off-speed pitches, with much better success. Mookie Betts hit a line drive right at Naquin to end the inning, and it's looking like neither team will have problems putting runs on the board.
After Juan Uribe was retired, Tyler Naquin registered his first major-league hit (in his second plate appearance) after a lengthy at-bat. Francisco Lindor hit a sharp grounder at Hanley Ramirez, who initially bobbled the ball and just went to first base. The ball was hit hard enough to potentially be a double play. Jose Ramirez then made the Red Sox by lining his second single to center in as many innings. Naquin got a good jump, but Jackie Bradley Jr could have thrown out Naquin with a good thrown. But not only did Bradley's throw not get the runner at the plate, was so offline that Ramirez went to second while the Red Sox retrieved the ball. The Indians didn't score any more runs that inning, but not before Buchholz had thrown almost 30 more pitches, for a total of about 60 in just two innings of work.
Carlos Carrasco threw the first 1-2-3 inning for either club. Much better control of his fastball and cutter, and very few pitches high in the strike zone.
The Red Sox, like many clubs, swung way around in both the infield and the outfield on Carlos Santana, but the Tribe DH beat the shift by knocking it into left center-field field. Bradley had to hustle to get the ball, then stumbled as he made the pivot. Santana, who was running right out of the box, made it to second base for his first double of the year. No further damage, though, as Yan Gomes struck out and both Marlon Byrd and Juan Uribe popped out into right field.
The good pitching continued for Carrasco in the fourth. With the wind picking up (Cleveland was a island of dry weather in a sea of green on the radar), he struck out Hanley Ramirez and Blake Swihart, making excellent use of his high-80s offspeeed pitches. It seems like Gomes and Carrasco are going with breaking pitches to set up his fastball instead of the other way around. Brock Holt wasn't fooled, though, as he broke up Carrasco's eight-batter out streak with a sharp single to center.
Buchholz, now in bullpen-saving mode, retired the Indians in order for the first time. Just three more Red Sox outs and the game becomes official.
Carrasco allowed one hit (on a Dustin Pedroia sinking liner that took a wicked hop past Jason Kipnis) but otherwise had no issues. Looks like he's on track to go 6 innings based on his pitch count (around 80), this being his first start of the year. The game's official now.
Clay Buchholz walked Jason Kipnis on five pitches, then was pulled. It didn't seem like he'd last even this long after the first couple innings, so he did save the Boston bullpen somewhat. Noe Ramirez, who throws with a three-quarters delivery, made quick work of the Indians, inducing a double play from Mike Napoli, and getting out on the end of the bat on Carlos Santana.
Carlos Carrasco ran out of gas, giving up homers to David Ortiz (his second in as many days) and Hanley Ramirez. He was pulled in favor of Ross Detwiler, the left-hander who isn't really a specialist. Chris Young, who was on the Yankees last year, pinch hit for Travis Shaw. Detwiler got Young to sky a ball into left-center field, but the ball fell between Ramirez and Naquin, and the drama commenced. Detwiler walked Holt, then Swihart (despite Swihart squaring to bunt several times). That loaded the bases and a Jackie Bradley fly ball scored the tying run. So much for waiting for rain...Zach McAllister was called up to clean up this major mess, inheriting a first-and-third, one out situation, and faced the top of the Boston order. McAllister made a good pitch, getting a grounder at Juan Uribe, but Uribe didn't make Holt head back torwards third, and the Red Sox outfielder scampered home on the throw to first. Mike Napoli made a nice play to retire Dustin Pedroia, but the damage was done. No official errors in the inning, but the Cleveland defense not only set up the inning, but allowed Boston to score the go-ahead run.
Now the Red Sox benefit from a rain-shortened game. Ramirez stayed on, now in position to get the win. But he walked Yan Gomes to lead off the inning. Then Marlon Byrd looped a single just inches from the right field line in right field, and that got Gomes to third. Then Uribe redeemed himself, launching a deep fly ball that Bradley almost misplayed, scoring Gomes easily. Just like that, tie game. Ramirez out, Robbie Ross in. Rajai Davis hit a ball to the track for out number two, but then Francisco Lindor hit a one-hopper to third that clanged off the glove of Brock Holt (who had moved to third after Shaw was pinch-hit for). But nothing came of the extra out, as Jose Ramirez flew out to end the inning. What a crazy inning, and we still have (maybe) three innings to play.
Zach McAllister got through the inning, retiring Bogaerts and Ortiz, and pitching around a Hanley Ramirez single. Ramirez stole second, then went to third on a wild pitch, but Zach got pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval to fly out to center field.
The Red Sox sent Junichi Tazawa, one of their two main setup men to the mound to preserve the tie. After Jason Kipnis lined out to center, Mike Napoli crushed a ball into the bleachers to break the tie. Carlos Santana, who has had a heck of a game already, had a typical Santana at-bat, working a walk. That chased Tazawa. The Indians should have a good opportunity here to jump on the Red Sox, making life easier on Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen. But thanks to a great play by Jackie Bradley, the Indians were limited to just the one run.
Bryan Shaw is in, as is Collin Cowgill, who replaced Marlon Byrd, not Jose Ramirez, who is still in left field. Wow. But on Jose made a nice play on a line drive hit towards him. The way he's been hitting, maybe this will a regular spot for him until Michael Brantley returns. Shaw allows a single to Jackie Bradley (who hit the ball where the shortstop usually is) but otherwise didn't have an issue. Three outs to go!
Rajai Davis stole second, then attempted to steal third but was called out on a questionable call. Francona didn't challenge, and what could have been a great opportunity evaporated.
Collin Cowgill, inserted for defensive purposes, almost misplayed a Dustin Pedroia fly ball. Cody Allen took matters into his own hands by striking out Bogaerts. Now David Ortiz...Hamster made the catch at the wall!! Terry Francona is a genius.
FINAL: Indians 7, Red Sox 6
Somehow the rain stayed away for four hours, time enough for a wild and crazy game. Zach McAllister calmed things down in the sixth, setting the stage for Mike Napoli's heroics. Jose Ramirez was huge both at the plate and (ultimately) in the field. Carlos Santana had a great game as well. And Shaw and Allen slammed the door against a scary lineup.
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