I was at work when this game started, and by the time I left an hour or so later, it was already over. It wasn’t literally over, but Manfred should have intervened and ended it after the second inning when it was clear that the Indians would be taking no prisoners this evening.
Let’s start with Trevor Bauer. In both text and video this season, I’ve stated that Mike Clevinger should be slotted behind Trevor Bauer in a postseason rotation. I apologize to you, Mr. Bauer. Trevor wreaked havoc on the White Sox from the get-go, his only blemish being a home run to Yolmer Sanchez in the fourth inning. Granted, at that point the Indians had already scored 10 runs, so it hardly mattered. According to FanGraphs, Sanchez’s home run decreased Cleveland’s win percentage from 99.4% to 98.9%. There was no stopping Bauer tonight. Bauer walked no one and struck out seven with a mixture of pitch type and location all night long. His six innings of four hit baseball was plenty good enough for Cleveland to nab their 101st victory of the season, a mark that is only surpassed by the 1954 club.
Bauer was incredible, and everyone should feel ecstatic that he will be in the rotation for the Tribe next week come ALDS time. But the bigger story of the night was the absolute domination by the Tribe offense. The scoring was consolidated into two innings, but in those two innings, the Indians scored 10 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks, and an error. The big blow came off the bat of Jay Bruce in the bottom of the 2nd when he blasted his 36th home run to deep center field to put the Tribe up 6-0. The next inning saw Jason Kipnis, Yandy Diaz, and Edwin Encarnacion all hit doubles to drive in 4 more, which ended up being way more than enough on a night where the pitching struck out 13 and walked no one. Hammy asked if folks wished that the playoffs started tomorrow, to which I thought I wish they had started tonight.
Some tids to bit
- Chicago pitching walked nine batters in this game. They also gave up nine hits. Needless to say, there was a lot of traffic on the bases when the White Sox were pitching tonight.
- The law firm of Smith, Shaw, Miller & Allen had a beautiful combined pitching line on the evening: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K. The most noteworthy highlight was Allen pitching for more than an inning in preparation for the postseason. If he looks like he did tonight, the Indians will be just fine.
- So Jason Kipnis is awesome again. Since returning to the lineup on September 17, he has gone 8-for-27 with four of those eight hits going for extra bases. Keep hitting like that, Kip, and you can play any position you want.
- The Red Sox lost to the Astros, which means the Cleveland Indians magic number to clinch home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS is down to 1. Also, since the Red Sox lost and the Yankees won, the Yankees are only 2.0 games back of the Red Sox with 2 games to play. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for a game 163.
- Lastly, the Dodgers are on their way to losing tonight, so the #1 overall seed is still alive.
Corey Kluber makes his final regular season start tomorrow. Here’s to the 2017 Cy Young award winner (he better be, anyway).