Apologies if the tone of this recap doesn’t exactly match the final result, but the ninth inning just wrapped up, and given the Indians-Blue Jays history of long and wild games, I’m not taking any chances. I’m gonna go ahead and recap what happened in regulation and worry about extra innings later.
For starters, Jose Ramirez about hit rock bottom then bounced back up in the span of an inning. His bad offense at the plate was compounded by a pair of ugly errors (whether or not they were scored as such) in the middle innings of tonight’s game.
As Ramirez reportedly told Erik Gonzalez after the first mistake — a ball that slipped under his glove — the spin of the ball coming off Toronto’s turf may have played a factor. But you can bet that didn’t help the GOAT feel any better about two costly mistakes — one of which indirectly gave the Blue Jays the game-tying run a mere half-inning after he gave the Tribe the lead. He was sitting alone, looking more pissed than usual, when the Indians came up to bat a half-inning later.
Then, shortly after he misjudged a ball and flubbed it instead of throwing out the runner at first, Jose made a fantastic dive to stop an easy double and threw it to second on a rope to get the same runner. Redemption. Maybe not for his struggles at the plate, but for his bad couple plays, at least.
It wasn’t just Jose that struggled to hit tonight, either. Marco Estrada was maximum Marco Estrada tonight, inducing countless weak hits and 10 fly balls for outs. The Indians only managed one hit harder than 100 miles per hour off the Blue Jays’ soft-tossing starter — Yan Gomes’ home run off an ankle-height fastball was returned to sender at 103.6 miles per hour.
Other than that, it was a whole bunch of stinkers to the tune of an average 78.5 mile per hour exit velocity.
It was eerily reminiscent of the nightmare April Indians that couldn’t do anything but hit into the air and ground into double plays. Remember that time? I sure do, and I hate it. Screw you, Marco.
Because this was a must-win game for the Indians, Carlos Carrasco pitched a full eight-inning, 113-pitch outing. He was the antithesis of Estrada, inducing 26 swinging strikes, 12 with his mystifying changeup, and nine with his [insert adjective here] cutter.
I can’t pretend like the biggest story of this game is on the Indians’ sideline, though. No, it was Rowdy Tellez and his continued stay at Double City. The 23-year-old has a really interesting draft backstory (as Matt and Rick told it during the game), and he made his debut against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, five years after being given a signing bonus of nearly $1 million as a 30th-round draft pick.
All he’s done since is hit, and hit doubles. Literally — only doubles. With a pair of two-baggers tonight, he now has six hits on the season, all doubles. He’s a One True Outcome player of the strangest variety.
Anyway, the first nine innings were pretty hum-ho outside of Jose Ramirez shenanigans, let’s check in on extra innings in a few minutes.
Extra Innings Update: