A solid start from Mike Clevinger and a trio home runs allowed the Indians to defeat the Angels 6-0 tonight. The victory evens their record on the season to 2-2, Yonder Alonso homered for the second time in his Indians career, Tyler Naquin launched a two-run shot to right center, and Edwin Encarnacion scored an inside-the-park home run.
here is video evidence that Edwin Encarnacion really did hit an inside-the-parker. spectacular pic.twitter.com/LsVzta9esf— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) April 3, 2018
Yes. This happened.
At the plate
Here’s a bit of trivia for you. Naquin homered tonight for the first time since August 19, 2016. That home run? His inside-the-park game winner against the Toronto Blue Jays. On that play, BJ Upton’s flopping in center field allowed Naquin to circle the bases. Tonight, Justin Upton’s total nonchalance (Did he think it was foul? Did he think it was gone? Did he try to launch it toward the infield psychokinetically?) led to Edwin Encarnacion’s inside-the-parker. Thanks, Uptons — Thuptons.
The Indians had a productive night overall at the plate, as every single player except Jason Kipnis managed to reach base. He and Jose Ramirez were held hitless. Ramirez is still searching for his first hit of the season, but I do not believe it is going to take very much longer for him to launch one of his patented helmet-loosing doubles.
The Angels only generated two baserunners in the same inning twice, when they failed to score in the 4th and then again in the 9th. They couldn’t keep up with the Indians pitching staff.
On the mound
This is largely due to a fine debut performance for Mike Clevinger He shutout the Angels in 5.1 innings of work. He allowed only four hits, while walking two and striking out five. The highlight of his performance, to me, is when he struck Mike Trout out on three consecutive fastballs. It’s not as if Clevinger just happened to get lucky; he skirted the edge of the zone on each pitch, going upstairs with the hit on the last one to blow Trout away.
Tyler Olson bounced back from his surrendered home run on Saturday by retiring all three batters that he faced. Nick Goody followed, allowing one hit but ultimately keeping the shutout intact. Zach McAllister and Matt Belisle also pitched-in.
JC Ramirez of the Angels did not have a fine debut. He allowed three home runs, and another run when Bradley Zimmer stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored when Martin Maldonado threw away a pickoff attempt. The Angels relief corps did fine, but as they cannot score any runs from the mound, it did not matter.
Other items of note
- There is a pretty amazing diagram of the fielders routes during Edwin’s homer courtesy of Daren Wilman (@DarenW).
- Yonder Alonso is still doing better than Carlos Santana.
- I know that ESPN2 still technically counts as national television, but it feels like it shouldn’t count for the MLB.tv blackouts.
- Tom Hamilton pointed out that Terry Francona gives hitters the green light on 3-0 counts about eleven times tonight. As annoying as that was, I am glad that he is not David Ross.
- Writing west coast recaps was easier when I still lived in Chicago.
The Indians play the Angels once again tomorrow night. It is a 10pm start and will be on ESPN proper. It’s... Tuesday Night Baseball? Sure. Why not? After tomorrow the Tribe aren’t scheduled for national television until April 18th against the Twins.
I’m going to go stare at the ceiling and think about sleeping without sleeping because I’m worried about how I’m going to fake my way through an 8:15am meeting tomorrow.