This is the beatdown you were looking for. We’re back to .500! After a frustrating couple of series against divisional rivals, the Indians have cruised to two straight wins against a divisional non-rival. Tonight’s nifty 11-4 thrashing of the Twins featured hits from every Tribe starter except for Yandy Diaz, plus a gutsy performance from Josh Tomlin.
What went down
Let me start this out with a hot take: Josh Tomlin is not a good pitcher, and his performance last fall was most likely an aberration. So when he gave up two runs in the first inning after the Tribe offense staked him to a 3-0 lead, I expected a full-on implosion. What we got instead was the perfect combination of Josh generally hitting his spots and Twins hitters being sadly incapable of punishing his mistakes. That may seem harsh, but this outcome is probably the best you could hope for out of Tomlin. Could it be the fresh new ‘do he was rocking tonight? Maybe. But whatever it was, it was plenty enough to get the W with the way the bats were working tonight.
When all was said and done, Josh had turned in just the sixth quality start of the season for the Indians. Meanwhile, the offense struck early and often. Sparked by a Francisco Lindor single, a Michael Brantley double, and a hilarious Max Kepler dropped fly ball, the Indians jumped to a 3-0 lead in the 1st. José Ramirez stayed hotter than fire, crushing a two-run bomb in the 3rd. Five runs would prove to be enough, but the Indians didn’t stop there.
Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor contributed RBI hits, and Edwin Encanacion finally broke out with a monster dong of his own to cap the scoring. Now, teeing off against the butt end of the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen isn’t exactly the most incredible feat in the world, but it sure felt good to see the Edwing finally come out for some fresh air.
The non-Cerberus members of the Tribe bullpen did well enough to hold the Twins to just one run over three innings, putting them in great position to shoot for the series win tomorrow. But for now, let’s enjoy this TWO GAME WINNING STREAK.
Narratives of note
Despite the offensive outburst and the solid pitching, the Indians turned in one of their worst defensive effort of the season. José Ramirez threw a ball away after making a nice charging stop in the first. Yandy Diaz also made a throwing error, bouncing a ball to 1st in a great impression of his hitting technique. Dan Otero threw a ball away in an over-eager attempt to start a double play. Ramirez definitely made up for it later in the night. Diaz and Otero? Not so much...
Otero’s continued struggles
Speaking of Otero, he continues to pitch his way out of the Circle of Trust. Otero worked one-plus inning, giving up a single, making aforementioned error, but then inducing a double-play in the 7th. Not terrible. But he opened the 8th against Miguel Sano, who crushed a ball so hard to RF that it looked like something pulled by a lefty. Not great.
The Jose and Frankie show
José Ramirez and Francisco Lindor seemed to be locked in a battle - a battle for the hearts and minds of Tribe fans. Frankie pushed his hitting streak to 12 tonight with a first inning single, then added to the Tribe’s total with a two RBI triple in the 6th. Not to be outdone, José recovered from his 1st inning error with a two-run homer in gghe 3rd and a single in the 5th, coming around to score on a Yandy sac fly. He also executed a beautiful turn on the 7th inning double play. Picking between these two for current favourite Tribe player is more difficult than choosing between burgers and burritos, and certainly more difficult than choosing between Pam and Karen. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose. These guys are all ours <3
The final word
This one was cathartic. It’s good to see the bats break out, and it’s always great to beat up on the Twinkies. Trevor Bauer takes the hill tomorrow looking lead the Tribe to a series winning and match a season-high winning streak.