For the first five innings of tonight’s game, it seemed as if the Cleveland Indians were facing Cy Young.
Except they weren’t. They were facing Jordan Zimmermann, who has been downright terrible this season.
Just last week, for example, Zimmermann gave up five earned runs to the Padres. But for some reason, the Indians couldn’t do anything against the Detroit starter. Their first hit of the game came in the fourth inning when Michael Brantley singled into right field, but Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez would both fly out to end the inning. Meanwhile, back in the second inning, someone named Mikie Mahtook got the Tigers on the board with an RBI single. For a while, it looked like the one run would be enough for victory since the collective Cleveland offense looked about as lost as I do during my corporate conference calls. However, despite the offense being asleep for a good part of today’s game, things started to change in the fourth inning.
Carlos Carrasco looked like he may be in for a short outing. After two innings, Cookie’s pitch count was already at a concerning count and with the offense not doing anything of note, he didn’t have a lot of time between innings to catch his breath. In the fourth inning, a changeup slipped out of his hand and nailed Jose Iglesias in the elbow. It definitely looked painful, but it was in no way intentional. If you track down a video of the pitch, Carlos immediately jumps up in the air, visibly frustrated with himself. Iglesias was able to stay in the game and it didn’t look like he was seriously injured, thankfully.
The next inning, Zimmermann decided that some vigilante justice was in order. After Lonnie Chisenhall popped out to start the inning, Carlos Santana stepped into the batter’s box and was promptly drilled in the back by Zimmermann. Unlike his counterpart, Zimmermann proceeded to stare down Santana who was a little irritated at having a 94 mph fastball thrown behind his back. The benches began to clear but nothing came of it. The Indians offense would wake up, but not until the next inning.
In the sixth, Roberto Perez led off the inning with a single and Jason Kipnis notched his first hit of the game with a double to left field. Primed with runners at second and third and nobody out, Francisco Lindor stepped up and continued to struggle as he struck out for the third time in the game. Michael Brantley followed and tapped a broken bat roller towards the second baseman, allowing Roberto Perez to score and tie the game. Edwin Encarnacion blooped a single behind Miguel Cabrera to score Kipnis and take the lead. And then, Jose Ramirez:
Revenge, thy name is Hamster.
Zimmermman, who had been cruising up through the fifth inning, imploded in the sixth and would not complete the inning. Carlos Carrasco, on the other hand, seemed to gain momentum as the game wore on, ending with a brilliant line of 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Carrasco utilized his secondary pitches with authority today and retired the final ten batters he faced. During the game, the Fox broadcasters showed the clip of Carrasco getting hit in the hand last year and proceeded to pontificate that “that was the moment that kept Cleveland from winning the World Series”. k thx guys.
I would say things got dicey for Cody Allen in the eighth inning, but that’s just not true. He walked a batter and retired the next three. Seems fine in my book. Andrew Miller came in to close out the game in the ninth inning, and he received a little assistance from the rookie out in center field:
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two incredible plays that Bradley Zimmer completed today in center field. There were many reactions on Twitter, but the official LGT account may have said it best:
The Indians have a center fielder again.— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) July 2, 2017
If you can split a doubleheader, it was a good day. Cleveland did just that and have a chance to take the series tomorrow as Mike Clevinger faces off against Justin Verlander.