Indians improve to 15-13
Since the beginning of the 2015 season, you can be sure of one thing following a Cleveland Indians loss: If Josh Tomlin is on the mound they are not going to lose. That was the case today as, for the 12th time, Tomlin took the mound and prevented back-to-back Indians losses. It was not all Tomlin's doing, of course, but for all but one inning he looked spectacular.
Tomlin's one bad inning came in the fourth when he allowed three runs off of a two-run Eric Hosmer 447-foot bomb and a Salvador Perez double that scored Alex Gordon. Tomlin was attacking the strike zone, as usual, but a few too many of his fastballs found the heart of the plate, and the Royals paid made him pay for it. Outside of the fourth, Tomlin allowed just three hits and two earned runs.
Indians scoring started right off the bat with a Carlos Santana leadoff home run, his second of the season from the top of the lineup. The next run did not come until the fourth inning, when Mike Napoli instantly responded to the Royals' three runs with a solo shot of his own that went 426 feet with an exit velocity of 111 mph, according to Jordan Bastian.
The rest of the Tribe's runs came courtesy of some questionable bullpen usage from Royals manager Ned Yost. Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was kept in the game just a shade over 100 pitches which was fine. But with runners on first and third and lefty Lonnie Chisenhall coming up to bat, it would have made sense to bring in lefty reliever Danny Duffy. Instead, Yost left Volquez in and Chisenhall promptly hit a single to advance the runners and score Michael Brantley from third. Duffy was then brought in to face Marlon Byrd, who hammered a ground rule double to score another run.
Byrd was 5-for-22 against lefties heading into that at-bat, so maybe Yost was making a decision based on that split. He learned the hard way that small sample sizes do not mean much, especially small splits -- a lesson that Terry Francona has learned earlier this season.
Lonnie Chisenhall -- making his first career start in center field -- was not challenged much, but he passed the eye test in center field, as far as I am concerned. Michael Brantley, on the other hand, looked spectacular in left field, including a cannon of a throw to nab an over-aggressive Lorenzo Cain trying to turn a single into a double.
And finally, Eric Hosmer apparently never got the memo: You don't run on Yan.