The Cincinnati Reds — tonight’s matchup —
had reeled off nine losses out of ten,
and looked to be an easy W.
The Indians of Cleveland came in hot,
riding a run of victories last week
against a Houston team that sits atop
the standings of the American League.
After a solid start from Scott Feldman,
a shaky one from Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin,
the Reds take the first ballgame of the set:
A final score of 5-1 tonight.
Did Tomlin look particularly off?
He once again attacked hitters with strikes
a strove to take initiative against
a Reds roster littered with patient bats;
sluggers like Joey Votto, Zack Cozart,
Eugenio Suarez can all draw walks
against the best of pitchers. Tomlin?
Not the best, but not too terrible.
Tonight he struggled early, giving up
two singles in the first that plated one,
then surrendered a dinger to Schebler
to start the second inning. After that,
Josh Tomlin worked with haste and earned his outs.
Allowing hits that did not hurt the Tribe
while striking out or inducing dribblers,
the pitcher kept the Indians within
somewhat comfortable striking distance.
However mild Tomlin’s losses seem,
it’s wins he must eventually redeem.
The first five hitters Cleveland sent to bat
in tonight’s game all managed to strike out.
A man like Feldman isn’t really known
for missing bats, but something in his game
kept baffling opponents on this night.
Crafty like a fox, He struck out nine
while walking only two of those he faced.
It’s in the sixth inning that tonight’s game
began to slip away from Tito’s Tribe.
Jason Kipnis went deep to start the frame.
Lindor then drove a double to the gap,
and Michael Brantley walked. The winning run
stood gamely at first base as Santana
came up to bat. Of late, he’s struggled much,
and this appeared to be a chance for him
to finally break out and help the club.
Instead he poked the first pitch that he saw
into the ground. The Reds quickly turned two,
then erased any threat of losing ground
by neutralizing Encarnacion.
Did Edwin battle? Sure, and even stroked
a baseball all the way out of the park.
Unfortunately that ball traveled foul.
He fouled of several more, but finally fell
by watching strike three idly pass him by.
Another night, another sombrero
for Cleveland’s offseason acquisition.
It’s early, but his box score filled with K
will only add to Cleveland fans’ dismay.
What really sunk the Indians attempt
to challenge Cincinnati in the game
occurred in the bottom of the seventh.
The third time through the order tortures Josh,
and Tito let him wander out again
to face the very meat of Cincy’s club.
The sixth? Our Joshy worked through fine with help
from blithe and silky smooth Santana play.
A line drive hit to shallow center dipped,
but Carlos dove and snatch it from the air.
He tossed the ball back into the infield
to complete an inning-ending twofer.
The seventh, though, would prove to be the bear.
On three straight hits the Reds managed to strike
combining baseball savvy with some luck.
First, Peraza singled, as did Barnhardt
and since the Reds had on the hit-and-run
Peraza moved to third. Then a pinch hit:
Arismendy Alcantara came in
to hit for pitcher Peralta.
This usually signals that a team
prefers to swing away rather than bunt.
Instead, the Reds performed a safety squeeze
which plated Peraza. Josh Tomlin’s throw
to first came right on target, but Kipnis
moved slowly to the first base bag. His glove
found only air as it reached for the ball,
which caromed into right field. Meanwhile,
Barnhart and Alcantara both advanced
to third and second base, respectively.
At three to one, the game could still be won.
Josh Tomlin passed the ball to Boone Logan,
Who worked his LOOGY role with perfect poise.
Otero came out next. As readers know,
this hasn’t been the best season for Dan.
Again tonight, his struggles came to roost.
Zack Cozart singled, scoring both the ducks
that Tomlin left sitting around the pond.
When bullpens, placed in jams, cannot convert,
the runs allowed are always just desert.
Tomorrow night the Reds and Indians
face off again in Cincy. Probables?
Carlos Carrasco and Amir Garrett.
With 40 innings pitched in seven games,
perhaps the Cleveland bats can punish him
and put away the game before the fourth
behind a stellar start from Carrasco.
While farther from their grasp, the Indians
can still bring home the grand Ohio Cup.
And should they lose again, there is no need for panic;
seasons stretch into the fall,
and this Tribe team has time to make amends.
Tomorrow, when Carlos Carrasco wins,
I prophesize: a winning streak begins.