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Cleveland Indians bats go silent as Tigers win 4-1

Can we use some of the runs from last night for today?

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After tracking yesterday’s game on my phone while I was in Los Angeles all day, I was ecstatic to see the Cleveland Indians bludgeon the Detroit Tigers for 13 runs, a substantial improvement from almost every other game that they’ve played this season. Sadly, today’s game was a cruel reminder that what happened yesterday won’t necessarily be indicative of what happens today.

The first example of this was the starting pitching match-up. Yesterday, in a game that featured Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander and was billed as a pitcher’s duel, both teams combined for 19 runs and 30 hits. Today’s match-up between Carlos Carrasco and Matthew Boyd yielded the results that one would have expected from yesterday’s contest. Both starters pitched at least six innings with Carrasco going 6.2 innings and allowing only four hits and two earned runs. The five walks were a bit concerning, but none of them ended up costing the Indians. The early damage was done in the second inning when Alex Avila blasted a mammoth home run to the bullpen in right field. Gomes had set up low and inside, but Cookie’s two-seamer had just a bit too much movement and landed right over the center of the plate. Literally.

You can’t do that.

Despite the home run, Carlos Carrasco looked great as he has all season to this point. Where other starters have struggled, Cookie has quietly put together a fantastic start to his season. Including today’s game, Carrasco, in three starts, has gone 19.1 innings and has given up just 5 earned runs while striking out 19 and walking 6. You can look at many reasons why Cleveland lost today’s game, but Carlos Carrasco is not one of them.

Opposite Carrasco, Matt Boyd kept Cleveland hitters off balance all day and didn’t really let them get into any sort of rhythm. Every time it looked like the Indians may come up with some sort of rally, a double play would end it. The Tribe hit into a double play in the first, fourth, and fifth innings. In addition to rally killing double plays, the Indians, once again, did not record a hit with a runner in scoring position. The lone Cleveland run came on a Jose Ramirez sac fly in the sixth inning that may have been a home run had the wind not decided to blowing in towards home plate.

Some happiness in a sea of sadness

  • Remember how people got panicky at the beginning of the season when Francisco Lindor had a slow start? Well those folks can all eat crow because Lindor is now riding a ten game hitting streak and is hitting .362 on the young season. Oh yeah, and he’s still incredible at defense.
  • Yan Gomes continues to be a Hoover inside of a black hole inside of an even bigger black hole at the plate, but damn can he still throw out runners. I don’t know how to fix Yan Gomes’ offense. If I did, I would have done it by now. Hopefully he can get some time with Ty Van Burkleo and fix his swing because he’s sort of a giant mess at the plate. But regardless of his offense, you can count on him to control the run game and call an excellent game behind the plate.
  • Michael Brantley, in addition to picking up two more hits today, dove for a sinking line drive and caught it! Even better, his arm didn’t fly off into the stands and kill Slider!

So here we are. 12 games into the season and the Cleveland Indians are...2 games below .500. Would it be nice to have a better record? Of course. Are the Cleveland Indians a raging dumpster fire that will engulf all of northeast Ohio? Despite how they’ve looked this past week, probably not. The offense needs to pick up, and they will. It would be nice for it to happen sooner rather than later, but the 2017 season isn’t over yet (HOT TAKE). In the words of Dennis Reynolds: “Peaked? Peaked, Dee? laughs psychotically Let me tell you something. I haven’t even begun to peak. And when I do peak, you’ll know.”