Indians improve to almost132-30
It's adorable that you think this 12-game winning streak is kind anomaly or that it's doomed to fail. Silly you. The Cleveland Indians are never losing another baseball game again. Danny Salazar did his part to continue the trend with a dominant seven-inning outing in which he struck out eight batters and -- miraculously -- walked no one.
This was the first time since last September that Salazar started a game and did not issue a single walk. That was a complete game shutout of the Detroit Tigers and he still allowed eight hits. Tonight's incarnation of The Dzar allowed just five hits and got behind a few too many batters, especially early on, but was able to work his way out of bad situations with an overpowering fastball, as he has done so many times this season.
Offensively, the Indians were held scoreless until the fifth when Jason Kipnis hit home Rajai Davis and Danny Salazar on an opposite field liner. Kipnis looked particularly fooled on a first-pitch changeup in the at-bat, so it was nice seeing him adjust so well and sling the ball the other way.
The Indians scored again in the following inning off a solo shot by Lonnie Chisenhall and that was it. If anything, this game showed some weakness in the Indians' game. Namely the fact that this lineup is still far from perfect. Facing the Atlanta Braves is not exactly when you want weakness to show, but the Indians were able to overcome several missed opportunities, something I would not have trusted the 2014 or 2015 Indians squads to do.
This game also featured a duo of helmetless Jose Ramirez appearances, which I am all for (do not click this link). It also helps that one of Ramirez's hits was a double that looked like it could set up something big in the fourth inning. Sure, Lonnie Chisenhall promptly flew out to end the inning, but there was hope. And that hope was created by a helmetless Jose Ramirez.
In one of the most Bravest of Brave plays ever, the fifth inning was capped off by a double play facilitated by a terrible bunt that Francisco Lindor was able to throw to second. Bunting is stupid (and Lindor did it later in the game with a runner on...) but it's extra stupid when you cannot even execute it correctly.
Something that added extra hilarity to this game was the Braves' insistence on using their tomahawk chop "war chant," no matter what happened. Indians get hit? Crank it. Braves batter strike out? Crank it. Braves down to their final out and their miserable season is shambles? Crank it.
"Hell yeah an out at second LET'S CRANK THAT WAR CHANT," - Braves audio guy— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) June 30, 2016
Word is the war chant is still playing in front of an empty stadium to this very day.
This win puts the Indians 17(!!!) games over .500 and they could have a seven-game lead in the AL Central if the Kansas City lose their game in St. Louis.