The Indians tamed the TIgers in today’s matinee at Comerica Park, although a late mauling put the result in jeopardy. Despite starting the bottom of the 9th with an 11-2 lead, the Indians allowed six runs and required an unexpected save from Cody Allen to close out an 11-8 win. The Indian close the four-game series with two wins, one loss, and a double-header someday soon.
The pitches of Mike Clevinger missed Detroit bats in the beginning of the game, but they also missed the strike zone. Through three innings the Indians starter allowed only a single hit and run, but walked five. Calamity never struck the young Tribe starter; he finished the game with 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, and 7 SO. A statline like that, particularly given the way that it started, screams “nerves” to me. Fortunately he logged a quality start and continues to look like a promising pitcher for the Tribe moving forward.
Despite Clevinger’s struggles, the Indians surged to an early lead. The bats at the bottom of the order bludgeoned Justin Verlander. Ramirez, Chisenhall, Santana, Zimmer, and Gomes all logged hits in the first three innings, with Ramirez and Chisenhall both scoring twice.
Encarnacion singled home Lindor in the fourth, and Ramirez hit a second home run to continue the scoring. With more than fifty starts against the Indians, it might be best of the Tigers made sure that Verlander made no more. Today marked the sixteenth time he’s allowed at least five runs to the Indians, and the second consecutive start in which he’s allowed seven or more and pitched four innings or less.
We must also more directly discuss Jose Ramirez. The third baseman possesses so singular a combination of talents that his consideration for most valuable player must be taken seriously.
A brief love letter to Jose Ramirez
Patient at the plate as well as decisive in his swing, calm under pressure as well as spirited in his play, agile on his feet as well as unwavering in his effort, he charges, helmet or not, into every challenge presented him. This season he is perpetually victorious, and today he eviscerated the Tigers. His hair glows beyond the golden glory of Cibola and is outshined only by his play on the field. Today, he became the only Indians player history to hit a homerun from each side of the plate in the same game twice in one season.
Ramirez walloped two home runs, three total hits, one walk, and four runs. He also batted in four. He raised his slash to .325/.379/.584 today. Coming into today’s game he was worth 3.0 fWAR, 2.5 bWAR, and 1,101,201 mWAR (MattWAR). It goes without saying that after today he will be worth a bit more.
By the way, he made an impact in the field as well. Here’s a play from the 8th inning, with Ramirez slotted in the normal shortstop position against the shift:
According to Statcast this line drive is a hit 82% of the time. Unfortunately when the GOAT is grazing in the field, it’s always going to find the webbing.
We’ll find out which 3rd baseman becomes the starter for the American League All-Stars, but after today it is clear which player deserves to be.
Hey what the hell happened in the 9th inning?
I don’t know, man. Boone Logan came out and continued to be generally terrible. He gave up five hits and five runs, and he needed only seventeen pitches to do it. Shawn Armstrong didn’t fare much better. He also allowed a Dong of Monstrous Proportions.
Indians led 11-2 in bottom of the ninth. Detroit now has the tying run on-deck and Cody Allen is coming in the game. Life comes at you fast.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 2, 2017
Thank the Man-Jesus, the Indians slunk away with an 11-8 win. It’s not great to see the bullpen underlings treated like ants sucked up by the blades of a lawnmower, but a win is a win.
A collection of Tim/tidbits, which may also be referred to as notes, but, regardless of nomenclature, will inevitably be related to the Cleveland Indians as they performed in today’s baseball game.
- Edwin Encarnacion stole a base and hit a triple today. From everything I can find he’s never done both in the same game, ever, at any level of baseball. I dug pretty deep into the youth league statistically archive, by the way.
- The Indians FINALLY get an off day tomorrow.
- Anna Bolton looks great in sunglasses.
- Jason Kipnis’s line for the year is sad: .229/.284/.392
- Lonnie Chisenhall jumped his OBP up 11 points today to .382 and will be right behind AUSTIN JACKSON with .383 among players with at least 100 innings played. Coming into the day, that would make them 13th and 14th.
As mentioned, the Indians are off tomorrow. I’ll miss the recap, but you can catch me for an off-day Q&A to keep the Holiday weekend delightful.