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Trevor Bauer and Jose Ramirez combine to defeat Nationals

DC falls to an unrepentant onslaught of drones and angry hamsters

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 3, Nationals 1

Tribe improves to 63-47

Box score


In the game thread I pondered which Trevor Bauer was the real Trevor Bauer - the one who looked like a 4th co-ace from late May through early July, or the one who looked like... well, Trevor Bauer for the rest of the season. Bauer added a tick in the former category tonight, rebounding from his worst start of the season with one of his best.

Though Bauer "only" struck out four, he issued just two walks and allowed just four hits in 6 1/3 dominant shut-out innings. More impressive was the fact that he stepped up to do this on a night when it was absolutely necessary since his opponent, Max Scherzer, no-hit the Indians through six innings. And, to a lesser degree, Bauer managed to do this without his usual personal catcher Chris Gimenez.

Scherzer was unconscious tonight, striking out nine and not allowing a hit until the 7th. His cutter had Tribe hitters looking like fools and, along with Bauer, he made the first six innings fly by with alacrity. As is typical of a no-hit bid, Scherzer had some stellar defense to back him up, including a spectacular catch by Ben Revere in the 6th to rob Roberto Perez of a sure double - or better. Scherzer’s own defense, however, would contribute heavily to his downfall and exit from the game.

With one out in the 7th, Francisco Lindor - who else? - broke up the no-hitter with a rocket shot single up the middle. Obviously flustered, the headcase Scherzer lost control of a pickoff attempt against Lindor, allowing Frankie to advance all the way to 3rd. With Lindor on 3rd, the best clutch hitter in baseball stepped to the plate and delivered. José Ramirez smacked a double off the LED scoreboard in RF to drive in the Tribe’s first run. Since he didn’t lose his helmet running to 2nd, Jose then stole 3rd in another failed attempt to ditch his headgear. This put him in prime position to be blooped in by Lonnie Chisenhall, who in true NL fashion dropped a garbage pop-up just over heads of a drawn-in infield.

Trevor Bauer was wisely pulled in the bottom of the 6th by replacement manager Brad Mills after giving up a one-out double. But thanks to Andrew Miller’s borderline illegal slider, the Tribe escaped the inning unscatched. With a 2-0 lead and Scherzer out of the game, things looked to be well in control. Turns out, though, Andrew Miller isn’t actually invincible. After several loud foul balls, Jayson Werth took Miller yard to put the Nats on the board in the 8th. Still up 2-1, Bryan Shaw stepped up and shut down DC to close the inning, despite giving up a single.

Not satisfied with a one-run lead against a top three team, José Ramirez contributed his own garbage bloop in the 9th to add some insurance. Here’s a clip of José collecting his multiple clutch hits:

Cody Allen pitched a somewhat stressful 9th, walking a batter and working another into a 3-2 count, but ultimately escaping unharmed to secure a righteous victory. This one felt particularly good. Aside from two boneheaded errors, everything seemed to click tonight for the Indians. Beating a great team’s ace pitcher on their turf on the strength of our third great great starting pitching performance in a row is something to be appreciated. Savour this and remember: the Indians are a very good baseball team.