Indians improve to 45-30
The Indians emerged victorious again tonight. This is the tenth consecutive win, but that's not the only incredible streaky thing going on.
- For the seventh consecutive game, the Indians' offense scored at least six runs.
- Tonight is the seventh straight quality start from Trevor Bauer.
- The Indians' starters have been so dominant on the ten-game winning streak that half of the Indians bullpen hadn't pitched in more than seven days before today.
- Since the streak began on June 17th, the Indians have outscored their opponents by 46 runs while hitting .322.
- The last time the Indians won this many games in a row, in 2013, they made the playoffs. THE PLAYOFFS.
It didn't look like tonight's game would be a complete shellacking right away. The Indians opened up the scoring on a Mike Napoli single, but the Braves answered in bottom of the third with a run of their own. Unfortunately, their starter John Grant left in the top half of the third with an apparent injury. No news from Atlanta yet, but The Twitters immediately blamed his unusual delivery.
I'm having flashbacks to Sergio Garcia at the 2002 US Open.
Things then started to slip away from the Braves. Francisco Lindor singled, Mike Napoli singled, and then Lonnie Chisenhall cracked a bomb to deep right field This wasn't quite a no-doubter, but lately Lonnie can't cool off. Buster Olney pointed out that Chisenhall is 10-22 in his last six games. He added another hit in two more at-bats, bringing that to 11-24. If he could, you know, just keep doing that. You know, forever? I think we'd all be fairly pleased. He may need to brainstorm some more celebrations, however.
There was a small reprieve, but Cleveland's offense wasn't finished pummeling the Braves. Naquin hit a long double to straightaway center field that Ender Inciarte couldn't. I'm not sure how many starting center fielders can even make that catch, but we now know that the answer is not thirty. Immediately after, Tito called for a sacrifice bunt from Chris Gimenez... except that the Braves stayed all the way back. Adonis Garcia groped at the ball, hoping to make a barehanded play. Instead, the Indians backup catcher recorded a bunt single.
The Braves switched pitchers and tried to stem the tide, but Santana blooped the second pitch for a single. With runners at first and second and nobody out, the odds still tilted not-completely-against bunting with Rajai Davis at the plate. So of course, yes, Tito called for the bunt. Davis dropped it close to the line, Garcia gloved it and fired high, and Freddie Freeman dropped it. Bases loaded. Jason Kipnis lined out, and Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate, looking for his third hit on the night. He took a mighty hack and grounded into a double play. Maybe Tito should have called for the suicide squeeze there?
Regardless, the night belonged to the Indians. A couple of extra insurance runs were tossed onto the pile, and they cruised through the final two innings without any difficulty. Joba Chamberlain allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth and lost his glove on a hard hit up the middle, but the Braves never threatened.
Tomorrow night, Corey Kluber gets the start and will do everything in his power to keep this crazy streak going.
One other small note: Tyler Flowers jacked a full-count pitch to right center off of Bauer in the fourth. Some poor Indians fan caught it. He kept the ball, which seems like the right decision to me. If you're winning the game and doing it against one of the worst teams in all of baseball in their stadium, I don't think you throw the ball back. Unless you're at Wrigley. Then, you always throw it back, and enjoy your free police escort to the Addison street L station.