This weekend, the Indians laid down and died against the Mariners each time they fell behind. Tonight against the Rangers they jumped back up and tied, then eventually took the lead and held on to win 7-5. While it wasn’t always the good kind of exciting, the Indians may have played the most exciting game of their season tonight to finish April with a 15-12 record.
Trevor Bauer contributed 6.2 innings of two-run baseball, striking out 11, a season high. He walked three and allowed a home run, but that’s now several consecutive fine starts. Did he toss 122 pitches in order to do it tonight? Yes, but we all know that Bauer’s arm is primarily constructed of saltwater taffy and drone components. Indestructible. He has yet to truly implode during a game this season, and I think about 20 other teams in baseball would be thrilled to have him as their #1 or #2 starter. He is our #3.
But you don’t have to take my word for it (Buh DUM DUM)!
Pitcher A— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 1, 2018
One of these is Corey Kluber, the other Trevor Bauer. Hard to tell the difference six starts in for the Indians starters.
Players that I love right now
As noted, Bauer. To that list we add the top of tonight’s order, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, and Jose Ramirez. They did everything. Everything, guys. The big inning tonight came in the 8th, after all hope seemed lost for the Tribe and most of twitter started wondering what kind of relievers we could get if we traded Greg Allen and Bobby Bradley. Lindor reached on a “single”, which tied the game. Then, Ramirez roped a double off the top of the wall in right to put the Indians up one. Other players contributed tonight, but these guys did the bulk of the damage.
Players that I am fond of right now
Yonder Alonso, Bradley Zimmer, and Rajai Davis. We will cover Davis’s exploits on the base paths in just a moment. Zimmer and Alonso, however, contributed to the rally in the eighth in a big way. Zimmer singled in the eighth, then later came around to score; Yonder Alonso hit a single to right that scored two and gave the Indians a 3-run lead, putting the game out of reach for good.
I’d also like to recognize Cody Allen. He entered in the 8th, sat through the Indians rally, and then came back out for the 9th. If not for a difficult pick that Alonso could not make on what should have been the final out, he would have a heroic 41-pitch performance to ride out on. He still gets the win, so that’s nice, but I can imagine him leaving with a nervous mind and a completely numb arm.
41 is the second-most pitches he’s thrown in his entire career. The only other times he threw 40 pitches or more came in April of 2013.
Players I can’t stand right now
Chris Martin. I know that Rajai Davis is a good base stealer, but it’s a bit silly to keep throwing to first until he’s basically standing on top of the bag. It is then, even sillier, to keep throwing to first after that point. During the Bradley Zimmer at-bat in the 8th, he threw seven pitches before Zimmer singled to left. He threw to first just as many times.
Hey Martin, maybe if you hadn’t turned it into a 14-pitch at-bat you wouldn’t have blown it. Making things even better, he then threw to second once Rajai made it there. It didn’t matter; Davis stole third a couple of pitches later, and then Martin completed his Cycle of Shame by making an error* to allow Rajai to score and Lindor to reach.
*I don’t care how they scored it, it hit is glove. That was an error.
I’m also filing Roberto Perez in this column. He struck out three times, fouled out on a bunt, and left five runners on base. It’s been a while since I reviewed the Fangraphs WAR calculation, but I think he is permanently stuck at -4.0 for the rest of the season after tonight.
The Indians take on the Rangers again tomorrow night, with Doug Fister and Mike Clevinger earning the start. It’s another 6:10 PM start, which is either a godsend or worse than stadium mustard suddenly never having existed depending on whom you ask. Not that it disappears, but that it never was at all. I imagine you can tell which side I’m on.