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Indians Rally for Tito and down Tigers 11-2

Is there anything better than a Friday night at Progressive Field?

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Fans poured into Progressive Field tonight and signed get-well cards for Indians manager Terry Francona. While he will certainly appreciate the love he receives from fans, I think one thing will truly make him feel wonderful tonight: The Indians thumping their division foe Detroit 11-2 in front of a sellout crowd on a Friday night.

What’s that? You don’t believe me? Actually, I have a picture of Tito celebrating tonight’s win.

Carlos Carrasco pitched a magnificent game

Usually when we gesticulate wildly and shout happy expletives about Indians pitchers it’s because they throw a Maddux or nearly no-hit someone. Carrasco’s performance tonight was a little bit more subtle, but no less dominant. Cookie’s final line reads as follows: 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 97 Pitches, 71 Strikes. Did he shut down, annihilate, or eviscerate his foes? No, he simply bested them and left no doubt in the matter.

Most important to note here are the strikeouts. Six of them happened on exactly three pitches, and three of those happened in one inning. What’s that called, again?

Ah, yes. That.

I just want to take a moment to appreciate the Indians coaches. All of them. We’ve been reminded recently about how wonderful Francona is, as we have been forced to reflect on his health. If you want to pick a player to show how effective the entire system is, I don’t know if there is a better one than Carrasco. Remember when he was a hothead, resistant to coaching, who wouldn’t ever make full use of his talents? Remember when they sent him to the bullpen and many assumed he would remain there for eternity?

For most of the last two seasons, we’ve seen a pitcher both transformed in his game and transformative for his teammates. Carrasco starts are ones in which the Indians begin with heightened confidence. A change like that takes an organization. It requires members from the front office on down all agreeing on a course of action and executing.

We’re spoiled, guys. We forget that sometimes.

Hey people hit dingers and stuff tonight too.

They sure did. Tonight’s game wasn’t about those, though. I’ll get to them later, but I want to show two plays in particular that fire me up.

I know this isn’t a fancy gif, but I think it does a better job at making my point. In the seventh inning Ramirez and Zimmer both singled on balls that should have been outs. Zimmer’s was an incredible display of effort; he sprinted down the line the entire way even though the ball was a chopper directly at Ian Kinsler. Kinsler lobbed it, mechanically, making the simple motions he’s done a million times on plays like that.

Zimmer beat the ball to the bag and set up the inning that put this game officially out of reach for the Tigers. In Zimmer, the Indians have a rookie who sacrifices his body in the field; sprints on every hit, no matter where it goes; and rocks an unorthodox goatee that somehow just works for him. What’s not to like?

Zimmer enjoyed his first three-hit game tonight, as well as his first home run off of a left-handed hitter: a no-doubter to center. I don’t know how many of you had the “Wahoo! What a Finish!” VHS tape from the 1995 run, but I couldn’t help remembering the old call from that tape when watching the ball go out. I can’t find it anywhere online, but I think it’s an old Hamilton call of an Albert Belle dinger. “That ball is swung on and belted, deep into center where it’s 405, and it’s gone!”

The fence may be five feet shorter, but I will never feel shorted by a ball blasted into the trees in center at Progressive Field.

Notable Tribebits:

  • We all know about Lonnie Chisentray, but what about Lonnie Chisentre?
  • Victor Martinez, previous member of the former Let’s Go Tribe Indians of the previous past, knocked in his 2,000th hit today and enjoyed a nice standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
  • Yan Gomes walked three times today. Yeah. I know.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall hit another home run today. He is having a career year. You should go look at his numbers compared to all other outfielders with more than 40 innings played. Shut the door behind you before you do, and maybe play some music.
  • Jose Ramirez knocked the %^&! out of the ball again today, but struggled in the field. He was credited for one error in the bottom of the ninth that meant nothing. He should have been assessed another early in the game on a chopper that he oléd.

Mike Clevinger and Justin Verlander battle tomorrow night on FOX, and the Sunday night game is, ohmigodwhat, the Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN. Hello, national spotlight! Let’s make it a sweep.