Indians improve to 50-32
The Detroit Tigers sniffed around a victory against the Indians for a little while. They stalked around the outfield, pawed at the clay in the batter's box, but never pounced. They remain winless in 2016 against the Tribe, who owe tonight's victory to Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli.
Officials delayed the start of tonight's game for two-and-a-half hours. On one hand, I'm upset at mother nature. It seems like every other recap I write is delayed in some way. The Indians also had a huge crowd on hand when the gates opened:
What a great sight... pic.twitter.com/U4nJjyOCQ8— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 4, 2016
The encouraging thing is that despite this delay, the iffy weather, and the fact that tomorrow is a work day, many of the fans stuck around until the very end. I was somewhat worried that a lot of the fans would bolt early and the team would have to deal with more national media analysis along the lines of, "hahahaha lol look thur in first but cant draw n e fanz haahahahahha Montreal wuntz a team rite."
When things finally got underway, the Indians didn't waste much time. Carlos Santana singled Napoli home in the second, and Lindor tallied sacrifice flies in the third and fifth innings. Frankie has a knack for getting the run from third home, as noted by redditor-who-might-post-here-under-another-name-I-don't-know /u/TheDeejus:
Nick Castellanos tied it up in the top of the sixth with a two-run home run, his fifteenth. This effectively knocked Salazar from the game. Unusually, all of the runs he allowed in the game came on bombs off of his usually deadly change-up. How strange is that, exactly?
Last homer off Salazar's split-change came on Aug. 17 last year (Travis Shaw). Moya's was 5th HR off the pitch in Salazar's career.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 5, 2016
It wouldn't matter: Napoli announced a massive party to the world with a two-run shot of his own that landed most of the way up the leftfield bleachers. Statcast estimated that the dinger flew 430 feet with an exit velocity of 109 mph. The Tigers threatened to revive themselves a couple of times, but the Tribe bullpen shut them down the rest of the way without. Bryan Shaw induced a double play in his usual eighth frame and then forced a pop-out to end the inning. He hasn't allowed a run in his last eight appearances, with only four hits and four walks in that time against nine strikeouts.
Other things of note:
- The Indians saw three total pitches in the bottom of the sixth. While this seems like futility on an unprecedented level, it's not quite as rare as it seems. Since the 1990s, they've merely been uncommon.
- Daniel Norris left today's game in the third inning with an oblique injury. Norris suffered a similar injury last fall, and the folks at Bless You Boys are wringing their hands over it.
- According to ESPN the Indians are 45-0 when leading after the 8th inning, which sounds wrong but they said it not me and I'm too tired to look it up right now and I might be getting sick which is just the worst.
- Tonight's game ended on a successful review of a safe call at first on the back half of a double play.
- The ESPN broadcast time spent an entire inning talking about popsicles, scooters, and dank memes.
- Jeff Manship picked up his first win on the season after finishing the sixth and seventh innings.
- The Indians STILL HAVEN'T LOST TO THE DETROIT TIGERS. A full 20% of our wins are against them.
- I don't recommend driving six hours and then staying up late to write a recap while shivering under blankets and coughing.