We will look back at this weekend and know that it is when the Indians decided to win the whole fucking thing.
I will not add another hundred words of praise to Jose Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat last night because that happened yesterday, and one moment, however spectacular, does not a season make. That being said, a season is a string of moments. 2016 remains the year of Naquin’s inside-the-parker, the Chisentray, parties at Napoli’s, and a 19-inning adventure against the Blue Jays.
Yesterday is the first moment on this year’s string. Today is the confirmation that yes, it matters to this team, and the 2018 Cleveland Indians are finally here to play baseball.
Didn’t the White Sox make five errors?
Yes. I know that the official scorer only listed three, but if the baseball hits a glove and it does not result in an out and you aren’t sliding across Martian dirt, it’s an error. The turning point in this afternoon’s game was Edwin Encarnacion’s bases clearing errobler. That tied the game up at five in the fifth, and Yonder Alonso gave the Tribe the lead with another double immediately after.
Did Greg Allen become a man today?
Well that’s a weird thing to ask, but yeah, pretty much. Look at this:
That was his only hit, but he reached on an error and scored later. I think everyone scored on an error today. The point is that Allen, who essentially skipped Triple-A entirely, now looks comfortable at the plate in addition to his excellent play in the field.
Is Jason Kipnis really hitting .191/.274/.281?
Yes. If it makes you feel better, he has six hits in the last four games, and continues to punch balls to the deepest part of the park. Just, you know, in-play. That will change. Dirtbag is fine.
Do we really need Lindor, Ramirez, and Brantley to keep playing this way in order to keep winning?
First of all, why are you asking that like it’s a bad thing? “Oh no, our 1-2-3 hitters all have an OPS greater than .900, what a terrible problem.” Are you drunk? It’s Memorial Day, so yes, that is a serious question. Please let Kevin drive you home, he’s only had one Zima.
We have three of the best hitters in baseball at the top of our lineup and that’s a problem for you?
Stop. Don’t say words again for the rest of your life. We have the best left side of the field in the entire league. Just nod, smile, and enjoy the 25 fWAR or so that they create.
Are the Indians going to keep coming back from like eighteen runs down to win games?
What about the bullpen though?
It’s not as bad as advertised. Tyler Olson struck out the only two hitters that he faced today on eight pitches. He, Evan Marshall, and Neil Ramirez combined for three innings of shutout baseball. I’d like to be able to write, “Mychal Givens, Blake Treinen, and Cody Allen shut the door on the Red Sox in game six to advance to the World Series” in a few months, but here’s the thing: The bullpen is historically bad, but the luck of the bullpen has also been historically bad. I think the latter is more significant than the former in this case. Plus, Josh Tomlin is never going to start again. That helps.
Did you have a good Memorial Day?
It’s really sweet of you to ask. I did. I lightly burned myself trying to install a new grill grate after the charcoal had already caught fire because I forgot you need a surface in order to cook things. We had some quality family time bandaging my hand.
Don’t the Indians have a super easy schedule coming up?
Yes, and you’ve mentioned the other important thing to remember: This team is 27-25 with its longest west coast trip, most of its interleague play, and many of its toughest opponents in the rearview mirror. Just... look at June, you guys:
There is a serious chance that the Indians lose two to three of those games. Harrowing.
Additional headline because I’m way too committed to this bit?
The most important thing to take home tonight (other than Kevin’s offer for a ride) is that the Indians are going to be okay. This is a top 5 offense. It may actually be the best one in the entire league with the way that they refuse to quit even though they’re pretty sure that Minor League Guy is going to hand the lead right back.
They locked their identity into place this weekend, and it is as the team for which no deficit is insurmountable. As the second month of the season comes to a close, that’s something the rest of the league should be worried about.