The Indians did something big tonight, and no I’m not referencing Edwin Encarnacion’s massive dong, or Greg Allen’s stolen base, or Cody Allen’s mild effectiveness. They traded for Josh Donaldson, the one true Bringer of Rain.
There will be plenty of talk on that over the next few days on Let’s Go Tribe, but for now let’s not forget that the Indians played in one of the best games over the last... month? Maybe more outside of the first two games of the Boston Red Sox series?
It’s hard to say a game was fun and enjoyable to watch when your team went hitless for the first four innings, but that’s exactly what tonight was. Tyler Glasnow is an absolute joy to watch — at 6’8” and consistently hurling 97 with a devastating breaking ball, it’s baffling how the Rays managed to get him and Austin Meadows for a shell of Chris Archer. Somehow they did, they turned him into a starter, and he turned in seven outstanding, almost Maddux-worthy innings until Edwin Encarnacion took him deep on his only hanging breaking ball of the night.
Glasnow can easily blow anyone away with his heater, but he didn’t neccesarily do that tonight. Yeah, he had half a dozen strikeouts, but it wasn’t on a lot of swing and miss stuff. Instead, he worked a very rigid strikezone on the corners and amassed 18 called strikes on his 79 pitches — 13 of those coming on his fastball. Compare that to Corey Kluber, who also had an outstanding night but only had 21 called strikes on 109 pitches. They were both fantastic, just in their own ways.
Where Glasnow worked with pinpoint accuracy and a good mitch of hard and off-speed pitches, Kluber came with his typically nasty four-pitch repertoire that Rays batters flailed at all night long to the tune of an 83.6 average exit velocity and only two balls hit over 100 miles per hour.
Cody Allen also had what could be described as an outing. It wasn’t great, and it included a first-pitch fastball that should have been clobbered but was instead popped up. But he worked three outs and I didn’t have any heart palpitations. Francisco Lindor put fans on notice before the game that booing your own player at home is some kind of bullshittery (and he’s right), so hopefully these two things put that to rest real quick.
Not long after the Donaldson trade was confirmed on Twitter by Jeff Passan, the Indians offense kicked into gear. Coincidence?!?
I mean, it also happened to be the exact same time that Glasnow was replaced by Ryne Stanek, but I choose to believe the force ghost of Donaldson guided Francisco Lindor to walk, Greg Allen to whip around the bases, and Michael Brantley to single for a 3-0 lead.
Now that that’s over, can we please talk about Josh Donaldson?