This is the second time this season that I’ve agreed to cover a recap for Matt Lyons and the Indians then proceeded to completely face plant. So either I have horrible timing or Mr. Lyons has some incredible clairvoyance paired with a twisted sense of humor. I’m going to go with the latter.
This game had another lengthy rain delay and started almost two hours late. By the time the game started at 9:40pm EST while Matt was getting some much deserved rest, the Indians proceeded to get tossed about by the St. Louis Cardinals for a second night in a row. Last night featured a dominant pitching performance by the Cardinals staff that limited the Indians to just 4 hits. Tonight, it was the St. Louis offense that put on a show and buried the Tribe early en route to an 11-2 victory.
If you stayed up to watch this one tonight, you did get to see something new, however. Corey Kluber, ace extraordinaire, had the shortest outing of his decorated career. He lasted just 1.2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 6 hits, 2 of those 6 hits were of the home run variety, one from Matt Carpenter (more on him in a bit) and the death blow dealt by Jose Martinez. By the time that Corey Kluber gave way to Dan Otero, the Cardinals were up 6-2 and the game was virtually over.
The remainder of the game served as batting practice for the Cardinals, specifically Matt Carpenter. The St. Louis third baseman went on a rampage this evening, collecting five hits in as many at-bats, including two home runs and a double. He also scored every time he got on base thanks to either his own hitting or the hitting of his teammates behind him. Jose Martinez and Kolten Wong also had a pair of hits each and drove in a combined five runs. So take those three guys out of the lineup, and the Indians win! So simple, right?
This game would’ve been more bearable had the Cardinals dominated from the get-go and never gave the Indians a chance. But for the first half inning, it looked like the Indians were poised for a big night. Carlos Martinez struggled mightily in the first frame, unable to find the strike zone on multiple occasions. The first three hitters (Lindor, Brantley, and Ramirez) all worked full counts, and the first two managed to reach base via a single and a walk. After Ramirez and Alonso popped out, the Tribe was in danger of stranding runners at the corners and letting Martinez off the hook. But Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis came through with back to back singles to put up two runs early. Yan Gomes then struck out on a pitch up in the zone that probably could have been deposited into the seats.
But that was it for the Indians. Three of their six hits and their only walk came in that first inning. They managed just three additional base runners all night. Couple that with the bullpen giving up five additional runs and this game turned into a laugher rather quickly.
Tomorrow, pending that the rain doesn’t delay the game to next week, Shane Bieber will take the hill for the Tribe to try and salvage a win before the team heads west.