There was never any doubt.
The Cleveland Indians stepped onto the field today needing just one victory to clinch their third AL Central title in as many years, and they pounced on a lifeless Tigers’ squad to get that victory by a score of 15-0.
Get those bottles poppin’.
The bats are alright
The Indians sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning and 11 men to the plate in the second inning. It was that kind of day for the Tribe as every single hitter went to the plate with a plan and they executed them marvelously. The first inning saw a franchise record eighth leadoff home run by Francisco Lindor. Three pitches later, Michael Brantley smacked his 16th home run of the year over the right center field wall. Detroit starter Michael Fulmer then left the game with right knee inflammation after making just 5 pitches, which meant that the Detroit bullpen would be tasked with getting all 27 outs.
Things did not go well from that point on.
The Indians scored 4 more runs in the first inning before Lindor grounded out to end the inning. But the fireworks didn’t stop there. The second inning came around and the Indians scored another 5 runs thanks to a Jose Ramirez double, a handful of singles, a hit by pitch, a sac fly, and some shoddy Detroit defense (more on that later). By the time the third inning rolled around, the game was over. The Indians scored 4 more runs over the remainder of the game for good measure to bring their total to 15, which is the third most runs they’ve scored in a game this season (remember when they scored 19 against Cincinnati?).
Long stretches of downtime don’t deter Mike Clevinger
The time between innings must’ve felt like rain delays to Mike Clevinger, but you wouldn’t know it by his pitching today. He looked dominant again today, pumping mid-90s fastballs into the zone all day while mixing in looping curveballs and sweeping sliders with aplomb. He ran into a bit of trouble in the fifth inning when two walks and a single loaded the bases with just one out, but Clev came back with back to back strikeouts (thanks to his slider) to end the threat. He ended the day by sitting down the final eight hitters he faced, bringing his final line to a solid 6.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 5 K. His strikeout total for the season is now at 196, leaving him with a couple of starts to nab that 200 K milestone for the first time in his career. Oh, and he got another pickoff in the first inning that I was sure was going to give Hammy a heart attack.
Audio representation of the Detroit Tigers’ defense today
Seriously, the Tigers were a mess in the field today. 4 scored errors and just poor play didn’t help stall the onslaught brought about by the Cleveland bats. Matt Hall, for example, suffered the most from this. In his MLB debut, he gave up 9 runs, but only 6 of them were earned. Way to help your rookie, Tigers.
- The Indians honored LGFT Victor Martinez before the game with a video montage of his greatest moments with the Tribe. A salute to one of the most beloved former members of the franchise.
- The Indians were 5-for-55 with RISP over the last week or so. Today, they were 6-for-16. Hopefully this is the start of a turnaround for the offense as they head into October.
- Jose Ramirez has been struggling mightily for a while, but today was a good day to bust his slump. The Angry Hamster went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, 2 RBIs and a walk.
- Every single starter got a hit today. Of the team’s 18 hits, 7 of them went for extra bases.
- This also looked like a spring training game as 7 of the 9 starters eventually got replaced. Yandy Diaz and Yonder Alonso drew the short straws and stayed in the game for the duration.
- Cody Allen and Brad Hand both pitching in a 15-0 blowout is hilarious to me.
- It’s the bottom of the 7th inning and I’m currently watching Michael Brantley chuck unopened bags of sunflower seeds at Carlos Carrasco while Corey Kluber looks on in amusement.
- Thankfully, since the Indians won this afternoon, I don’t have to care about the Twins and the Royals tonight. Which, really, isn’t that the real victory here?
- It’s now the top of the ninth and I’m watching Josh Tomlin help duct tape a Gatorade cooler to Cookie’s forehead.
Expect a similar spring training-esque lineup tomorrow as the starters get an off day to...rest. Yeah, let’s go with that. But in the meantime, enjoy the celebration of another AL Central title for the Cleveland Indians.