Don’t let the fact that the defending AL champs were a distant second in Cleveland sports media circles last night distract you from the fact that the Astros blew a 3-1 lead to the Tribe in a showdown of potential ALCS opponents. A series win against Houston - yes, even in April, yes, even if we struggled - is huge.
Indians 4, Astros 3
Corey Kluber struggled early but gutted out a solid seven innings to keep the Indians in the game. After some frustrating struggles with RISP, who else but Frankie Lindor came to the rescue with a monst- um, big home run to put the Tribe in the lead for good.
Indians news & notes
In addition to Kluber’s gutty performance, Cody Allen also gritted through a rough 9th inning ride. The biggest weapon at his disposal, as always, was his devastating curve.
Brantley is back and a better power hitter: Bode plots | Waiting for Next Year
There’s been some talk about Michael Brantley striking out more than usual lately, but the K% isn’t the only thing that’s up. Check out that sweet ISO and huge jump in hard contact % - wew lad. He might be making less contact, but so far it looks like he’s making better contact.
Andrew Miller, Cody Allen off to hot starts as Indians keep eyes on workload | Akron Beacon Journal
Miller is Miller, and it seems like Allen is just Allen, but Cody’s start is actually a bit unusual for him. His past two Aprils have been [trash emoji], but April 2017 so far has been [multiple fire emojis].
It’s easy to point to Lindor’s homer as the deciding factor in last night’s game, but even Frankie himself credits Abraham Almonte with the win for an astounding first inning catch that saved perhaps three runs. Yan Gomes had himself a game as well, surprisingly getting on base multiple time and less surprisingly gunning out two would-be base stealers.
News from around baseball
- Masahiro Tanaka threw a Maddux, and Craig Calcaterra properly credits the stat’s inventor: LGT’s own Jason Lukehart
- Are teams gaming the 10-day DL to gain an edge?
- Fangraphs thinks Eric Thames is worth an Edwin Encarnacion-sized contract
- Thames also tops Fox Sports’ list of MLB’s top comeback players of 2017
- The Mets’ luck keeps getting worse, as Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes both went down with injuries
- Joey Votto isn’t sold on the infallibility of fly ball-heavy hitting strategies
- South Africa’s Gift Ngoepe made history Wednesday night, and had to fight back tears while doing so