Indians improve to 42-30
"Then we will lose in the shade." - Detroit Tigers, probably.
Unlike the brave Spartans who held the Hot Gates against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in Zack Snyder's over-saturated film, 300, the Detroit Tigers were no match for the overpowering forces of the Cleveland Indians. In-between slaughtering Tiger pitching, the Tribe carried their flashy -- and ultimately confusing -- leader, Danny Salazar, to victory.
[I've already taken this 300 reference way too far, but if anyone in this analogy would be super-awesome Immortals, it was definitely Jose Ramirez who started the barrage of triples in the fourth inning.]
The first triple of the game, that also happened to open up the scoring, came off the bat of Jason Kipnis in the first inning when he hit a ball into Comerica Park's spacious right field that scored Rajai Davis and Chris Gimenez. Francisco Lindor, one of the few Indians batters to have a bad game, struck out to end the inning and the Tigers left the field thinking Jordan Zimmerman would be a-okay.
Jose Ramirez immediately started things off in the fourth with a triple to centerfield, and he even managed to keep his helmet on his head. That is cool and all, but he's is really killing business by keeping his protective gear in tact. How am I supposed to sell enough t-shirts to buy a yacht if he keeps doing this?
Once Ramirez was safely at third, Juan Uribe got aboard with a hit-by-pitch, and then the real fun started. Lonnie Chisenhall tripled, already the third of the game, Chris Gimenez singled, then three batters later Jason Kipnis his second triple of the game. It was the fourth overall for the Indians and their third in the fourth inning alone, tying a franchise record for most three-baggers in a single frame. The last time the Indians did it was back on Opening Day in 1968.
At this point, with four triples in the books by the end of the fourth inning, the Indians had (literally) hit as many triples as Steph Curry did three pointers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It was fun. Baseball is fun when the good guys win.
Indians have hit as many triples as Steph Curry did in Game 7.— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) June 25, 2016
Offensively, the Indians left no questions on the field tonight. They are a legitimate hitting team, and they can hit a lot of extra-base hits. They did cool off a bit after that big fourth inning, but with a 7-0 lead that early, it did not make much of a difference. Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis, Mike Napoli, Chris Gimenez, and Rajai Davis all had multi-hit games on the day, and they struck out only five times as a team. You cannot ask for much more out of an offense, even if most if it came from just two innings.
As surefire as the offense was, however, Danny Salazar did not have his best stuff on the mound tonight. Well, let me correct that. His stuff was as great as ever, and it had to be, because his control was ugly. Salazar started off the night walking the first two batters to get to Miguel Cabrera, just as he probably drew it up. Also just as he planned, one of the best hitters of this generation hit an easy ball right to Juan Uribe, who tagged third base and threw to first for a double play.
Salazar walked a lot and allowed a lot of really hard-hit balls, but he got strikeouts and weak contact when he needed it most.
And for a game that was supposed to be a blowout all the way, the Tigers made it a show right up until the last out. Cody Allen, in the game with a 7-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth, generated two quick outs but also allowed two-straight hits. And, just like in the first inning, it led to a Miguel Cabrera at-bat and ended with very similar results. Only this time, instead of a liner to Juan Uribe, he hit a ball that Rajai Davis was able to chase -- a play close enough to not being caught that no one was sure he actually did until looking at a couple replays.
For more, hear Tom Hamilton's incredible call:
With this victory, the Indians are now 7-0 against the Tigers this season, outscoring their AL Central rivals 45-16 in the process. They will look to continue that streak tomorrow with Carlos Carrasco on the mound against Anibal Sanchez.