Tonight’s recap in gif form
I know, I know, the final score of tonight’s game was 9-3 and it takes a full team to win any given baseball. That being said, Francisco Lindor obliterated the Kansas City Royals with two strokes of the bat and a little help from his friends in tonight’s game.
He hit a grand slam in the fourth (for a moment I thought it was the giveaway inning and someone had won a truck and I became morose when I realized: NO TRUCK) and then a three-run shot in his next at-bat. Both of these balls were not only crushed, but they were obliterated, donked, bloinked, smashed, denied a loan but then won the lottery only to be hit by a truck while walking across the street to cash it in, and blasted. The first left the bat at 108 MPH and landed 409 feet from home plate. The second left at 105 MPH and traveled 418 feet. Adjective: magnificent. Noun: dong, plural.
Lindor was easily the most impactful Indian tonight, but Jose Ramirez and Yan Gomes both matched him in hits if not production. Rajai Davis played the “ninth hitter lead-off” role perfectly by going three-for-three with three runs. Encarnacion and Brantley were responsible for the non-Lindor RBIs on the evening.
IS COREY KLUBER DYING?
No. Corey Kluber is not dying. He pitched like a normal human being for the first couple of innings.
Meanwhile, people panic every time Corey Kluber doesn’t go seven innings and allow only two runs while striking out ten. That’s fine. Fans can panic. The Indians aren’t going to, because as we know when Kluber gets 4 or more runs of support the Indians win. Kluber pitched a fine game. He went six, struck out five, and allowed three runs. Seven Royals collected hits, and once again not a single opponent walked. Between the first and sixth innings when he allowed runs, Kluber retired twelve of thirteen hitters.
It’s hilarious to me that every time Kluber struggles in an inning, we just assume that he’s secretly hurt and trying to pitch through it. It’s happened in both of his last two starts. Sure, the other team teed off on him last time out, but if you’re going to have the worst start of your career you might as well go all out, right? The point is that Kluber pitches at a Cy Young level nearly every single start, so when he looks like a mortal we panic. He had a very good Josh Tomlin start tonight, and a quality start, and that’s fine.
YOU’RE SURE THAT THE BULLPEN DIDN’T EXPLODE AND THEN GET REASSEMBLED ONLY TO BE RE-EXPLODED BY NEIGHBORHOOD HOOLIGANS?
Yes. I am sure.
Dan Otero, George Kontos, and Marc Rzepczynski pitched three innings of scoreless baseball and allowed only one baserunner. They didn’t strike anyone out, and so I’m sure BABIP might have a different read on their performance tonight, but the outcome won’t change.
Let’s all sit down and think about the following: Andrew Miller is going to return at some point and be an effective reliever at the very worst. The Indians seem to have found their crop of unexpectedly effective relievers in Neil Ramirez and Oliver Perez. There are still rough nights when the bullpen ruins every good thing within a ten mile radius of a television set playing the game, but those games are now becoming rare. That and I don’t think Josh Tomlin is going to be on the roster for very long after the All-Star break. If he is, he’ll be mop-up duty only.
HASTILY FORMED CONCLUSION
The team is in good shape. There are multiple MVP candidates on the left side of the infield. Unless seven starters get hurt, they’re going to win the AL Central and the front office will make deadline moves to plug the smaller-than-advertised holes in the dike.
The Indians take on the Royals again tomorrow night. Shane “Mini Klubot” Bieber faces off against Danny Duffy. I think we’re all going to really enjoy the result.