Fireworks popped off around Kauffman Stadium all night, but inside was a tame game of baseball.
The Indians looked like they might run away with this game, first with a pair of RBI hits from Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion in the first, then a busy game of musical sacrifice flys in the second. From then on... not a whole lot of anything.
The offense managed exactly one base-runner in four of the final seven innings, and they only really came close to scoring in the ninth when they put runners on first and second with two outs. Francisco Lindor ended that with a ground ball.
That was a common theme for Lindor tonight, as he either drilled a ball directly into the ground or popped it up for an easy out. He was visibly upset at one of his pop-ups, too, which I swear I’ve seen him do a lot recently. The fact that he’s slashing .300/.376/.587 with 23 home runs coming into tonight and is still frustrated that he’s not crushing every single ball is a pretty damn good sign, as long as it doesn’t turn into a lengthy slump.
Lindor’s 0-for-5 night was just one of many down nights for a Tribe offense that was outhit eight to four and just looked like they were ready to go home and enjoy a day off tomorrow. But sequencing can be a magical thing sometimes — mainly when it works in your favor. For the Royals, their first run came on an abysmal throw from Jason Kipnis that should have trapped Alex Gordon between third and home. Instead, Kip rushed a throw, which threw Ramirez off balance, which allowed Gordon to rush home.
Cody Allen is the real story of this game. Not just his three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth inning, and not just the fact that he racked up his 18th save of the season. He is now is the leader in Indians history with 140 saves, overtaking Bob Wickman, whose record 139 saves stood as the gold standard since 2006. Game saves don’t matter until they can be used to compliment one of the longest tenured — and overall best — players on the Indians. So they count now, ok? For now.
On the mound, Trevor Bauer had an off game. Yes, I know he struck out eight over 7.2 innings and only allowed two runs, but anything less than double-digit strikeouts for Bauer feels off with how dominant he’s been.
The Indians completed their sweep of the Royals and moved to 7-2 on the season series with the win. Kansas City’s descent into their long overdue rebuild is going to be long and I can’t wait to live in a world parallel to it, where the Indians are contributing to it. That might sound harsh, but after so many years of the Royals being so annoyingly good, I think I deserve a couple years of reveling in their misery. My only regret is that Eric Hosmer isn’t there to watch it collapse around him.