In a bizarre way, the Cleveland Indians’ 6-3 loss tonight to the Minnesota Twins felt a lot like last year’s ALDS. Not the same impact, of course, because this is just a mid-June matchup against the Twins, but it’s familiar in the sense that this can’t be the same Indians team I’ve watched over the course of the season.
The game was the true definition of a clunker, from Francisco Lindor booting a ball and nearly injuring Corey Kluber on an errant throw, to Kluber himself being pulled after just 65 mostly ineffective pitches. Nothing went right for the Tribe, but it also wasn't a complete and total disaster.
Luckily, as of this writing, it appears Kluber’s departure was just a decision from Terry Francona. And it might make sense — Kluber has thrown at least 90 pitches in every start this season and he obviously didn’t have it tonight, so why force him to go out there and force what hasn’t been working? Let him get an early night off, rest him arm, and be ready for the next game, especially now that the bullpen seems mildly competent.
For what it’s worth, the numbers of the night seem to backup the idea that Kluber wasn’t really injured. His velocity didn’t suddenly drop and he didn’t suddenly lose command late. He just didn’t have much of it all night to begin with.
Tyler Naquin made his first start in a while, and he recorded a hit — that’s fun. Yan Gomes might be warming up as he went 2-for-4 and accounted for both of the Tribe’s runs, including a ninth-inning solo shot. The once powerful trio of Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Michael Brantley atop the lineup combined to go 1-for-11, however, so don’t go getting all cozy with this offense.
The most normal thing of the entire game was Eddie Rosario mashing against the Indians. Corey Kluber walked a guy for the first time in recorded history and Josh Tomlin pitched two scoreless innings. Nothing makes sense in this strange new world.
I don’t know, I’m just at a loss for how to describe this game. It wasn’t even that frustrating to watch, it just sort of happened and I emotionally tuned out after the first couple innings. Let’s forget it ever happened and move on to tomorrow.