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The Cleveland Indians shut out the Kansas City Royals 20-0 this weekend

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Dingers, dingers everywhere; the Royals bats did shrink

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Today’s recap in .gif form

Actual Recap

Fans occasionally debated the season whether or not the Cleveland Indians were good at baseball.

“This just isn’t the team we saw in the postseason last year,” said Dave, as he struggled to stuff a lime into his Corona.

“The pitching just isn’t as dominant,” said Trent while sniffing his fingers.

“I just think they don’t want it enough,” said some guy named Matt, a total idiot, to a friend several months ago.

This series against the Royals proves definitively that yes, this team is as good as the 2016 World Series team; yes, the pitching is as dominant as ever, now buoyed by even better hitting; and good lord, yes, this team wants another shot at a World Series title.

With a 20-0 run differential the Indians slapped a rug over the top of the Royals, taking an unshakable command of the division and sending a message to the rest of the league: the path to the World Series still passes by corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Two big innings early turned most of the game into a formality, but I don’t think anybody in the stands was too upset to sit back in the 75 degree sun, drink a White Rajah, and watch the Tribe cruise.

How good were the Indians in this series?

  • They completed a series shutout. The Royals did not score a single run in Cleveland. The Indians have not done the nasty to this extent since 1956.
  • The Royals now own a franchise-record scoreless innings streak.
  • The Indians hit seven home runs in the three games: two by Francisco Lindor, two by Carlos Santana, two by Yanberto, and one by Edwin Encarnacion. Since they cracked 33 hits in the series, their home run rate was 21% for the series.
  • Every single Indians starter went at least six innings.
  • THEY DID ALL OF THIS WITH SEVENTEEN INJURED STARTERS.

When was the last time the Indians were this dominant over a stretch this long?

In 2008, the Indians held opponents to 31 scoreless innings. That is the last time they so thoroughly decimated opponents.

The club record is 47-straight scoreless innings in 1948. As you might recall, that team defeated the Boston Braves in six games to win the World Series.

The Indians blew the AL Central open, for good. In winning their last four, they’ve padded a lead against ailing Twins and Royals. The lead in the division is now seven games.

Short of Byron Buxton having a dozen more 3-HR games and revealing himself to have been Giancarlo Stanton with an 80-grade glove all along, ain’t nobody taking this division from the Tribe.

Are they going to keep playing this well on Monday Night Baseball tomorrow against the Yankees?

Of course. They’re on a mission from God.

You mentioned those big, early innings. What happened?

Dingers. Doubles.

Professional Hitter Austin Jackson (PHAJ) started the party with a single that pushed Lindor to second base after a lead-off walk. Jose Ramirez doubled. Encarnacion grounded out to secure another RBI. After a Santana fly out, Guyer singled to score Ramirez. 3-0 good guys.

In the second, Gomes singled to left, only to be paraded home after the laser from Lindor you saw at the top of the post. PHAJ doubled, as he is apparently programmed to do these days. Ramirez flew out, but Eddie walked. At this point, Ned Yost decided he’d seen enough of Eric Skoglund. A sound decision. A human who’d never watched a sporting event before would have recognized that the Royal’s starter just didn’t have it today. Unfortunately for little Neddy, Carlos Santana decided to dent the foul pole in left with a line drive, putting the Indians up 8-0.

Guyer hustled for an infield single, then moved to second when Whit Merrifield made a very bad throw. Yandy Diaz walked, then Bradley Zimmer reach on another soft single. Bases juiced, Yan Gomes stepped to the plate. As is well-documented, Gomes continues to search for the juju that propelled him to a Silver Slugger several years ago. He uncorked a little bit of the secret sauce today, sending everybody home with a titanic grand slam to bury the Royals 12-0 in the second.

My only regret is that the Indians did all of the damage too early for anybody to win the god damn car.

Is this the baseball?

Yes.

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Final thoughts

Can it be player’s weekend every weekend?

The Indians sit at 73-56. They are now 36-29 at home, fully doffing the “can’t win in Cleveland” meme that nipped at them throughout the early summer. They are now tied in record with the Boston Red Sox, and only a few games behind the Astros.

Ladies and Gentleman - this is shaping up to be a fantastic playoff race. Wouldn’t it be nice to hold home field advantage throughout the playoffs until the Dodgers march the Uruk-hai into the stadium?

EDIT:

Hokius put these up over at ye olde Royals Review and I agree with the implication that regardless of sportsball we need to help those in need when they are in need. Here is some information if you are able to help those in Texas: