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Indians complete 2018 regular season, defeat Royals 2-1

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See you in Houston, gentlemen

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who stopped by for the game threads and recap posts this season. One-hundred sixty-two games is a lot, and I know some of you have been around for every single one. That’s awesome. I hope to see you all throughout a very long October.

The 2018 regular season draws to a close. The Cleveland Indians finish the year with a 91-71 record and won the American League Central, punching a ticket into the ALDS. Fortunately this side of the league is much neater than the National League, so we already know that the Indians will be facing the Astros.

Before we start to feel our oats over the playoffs, we have one last game to cover.

Indians 2 - Royals 1

Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer piggybacked their way to an Indians victory as each pitcher kept their arms stretched out for October. Outside of Francisco Lindor the Tribe lineup didn’t do much, but it didn’t need to. Lindor opened the scoring by reaching on an error, stealing second and third base, then scored on another error by Alcides Escobar. In the top of the second he launched his 38th home run of the season into the stands for the second of the only two runs the Indians would need today.

There’s not a ton of other offense to write about today. Edwin Encarnacion added a couple of hits, Yandy Diaz hit a double and walked twice, and Josh Donaldson roped a double of his own.

On the mound Carlos Carrasco looked excellent. The only inning in which he struggled was the fifth, as he allowed two singles and a walk. These resulted in only a single run. Bauer entered the game from there and retired all but two players in order. Given the unusual nature of the game Bauer earned his first career save.

Tidbits which may or may not be Tribal in nature:

  • Whit Merrifield singled late in today’s game. That doesn’t sound particularly interesting on the face of it, but it extended his hitting streak to twenty games. He finishes the season with the most hits and steals in all of baseball, in addition to the longest hitting streak this year. He is a shining example to Hobbits everywhere.
  • The exemplary consistency of Khris Davis
  • The unusual number of 1-0 games
  • Francisco Lindor is the only shortstop in Major League history to hit at least 30 HRs, steal at least 25 bases, score at least 125 runs, and hit at least 40 doubles.

Up next: The Indians take on the Indians Tuesday night at home in an intrasquad warm-up for the ALDS. If no one else is planning on writing a recap for that one I really, really want to.