Many Tribe games this season sailed through nine innings in a little more than two hours. For that reason, I rejected offers from our west coast-dwelling writers to cover the game.
Naturally, it’s 2am and here I am finishing the recap.
That being said, tonight/this morning’s game was good. The Indians scored enough to contain a miniature bullpen meltdown and preserve a win for Trevor Bauer. They climb to 9-7 on the season and extend the Mariner’s losing streak to four.
Early Innings Magic
The Indians continue to find ways to score early in games. Tonight, Carlos Gonzalez knocked a first-pitch single to center, followed by a Carlos Santana walk. Add this to our growing pile of evidence that Double Carlos Power is not just a fantasy.
Hanley Ramirez singled to right and scored CarGo. This set the stage for the first at-bat for Jason Kipnis. He wasted little time, singling through the hole on the left side of the infield to drive in the second run of the inning.
Things only got better from there, as Jose Ramirez hit a home run to lead off the top of the third. Actually, let me redo that.
JOSE RAMIREZ HIT A HOME RUN
There it is. I feel a lot of relief. Something burrowed deep inside me released; a terrible anxiety that perhaps J-Ram would never swing sweetly again.
Also, he fuckin’ blasted it.
It’s safe to say that his teammates were pleased, too.
Jose getting the silent treatment pic.twitter.com/A8JGTTfVHz— Andre Knott (@DreKnott) April 16, 2019
In addition to this home run, Ramirez provided the Indians with a couple of doublewalks; both times he reached on balls he proceeded to steal second. He is 5-5 on stolen bases this season. One game never signifies a complete turnaround.... but man, we can hope. This is a completely different team when Ramirez is alive.
Bauer’s Lone Run
Trevor continued to pitch well tonight. He walked three and allowed one run in 6.2 innings, striking out eight and giving up five hits and three walks. When he did depart in the seventh, he left few ducks on the pond for Tyler Olson to shoo away. He added one instead. Cue the chorus of fans shouting YOU HAD ONE JOB.
Adam Cimber came on to give it another shot, and Mitch Haniger gave him one hell of a battle. He fouled off three straight strikes to stay alive, and with Cimber’s nibbling approach an RBI walk never seemed out of the question. No matter—Cimber reached back and fired a feisty 87 MPH heater to blow Haniger away.
The last two hours of the game pretty much happened after the seventh inning
The Tribe added another run in the top of the eighth off of
Connor zeck.— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) April 16, 2019
Connor Sadzeck. I suppose that the run technically belongs to Zac Rosscup, who walked Jose Ramirez and struckout Gonzalez to start the inning. I put it on our emoji-laden friend because he came in and experienced extensive misadventure.
Carlos Santana walked. Sadzeck threw a wild pitch to advance the runners, and then threw a pitch that ESPN still classified (Wild? Passed? We may never know) to allow Ramirez to score. After Kipnis reached via walk, the Mariners decided to send LGFT Shawn Armstrong into the game.
Our old friend then walked Roberto Perez on a full count to load the bases for Greg Allen.
Next up, Armstrong threw a couple of fastballs by Allen—really, really crushable fastballs. Dream fastballs. The kind of pitches that make you flinch when the hitter swings because they deserve to get launched.
Perhaps the baseball gods felt some sympathy for Gregory, as Armstrong grazed him with the next pitch to force in the run.
Unfortunately, [Stamets-ends-rally boilerplate]. I honestly wonder if Francona wanted to give the kid a chance to bounce back in a big way. Same goes for Allen here; with Naquin and especially Jake Bauers on the bench, either would have made a lot more sense than the two hitters that batted. In April with a sizeable lead I’m not going to sweat it too much, but it stands out as a Very Terry thing to do.
The reason you don’t do things like that
Adam Cimber allowed a single to start the inning. Francona sent Oliver Perez to face Edwin Encarnacion.
So, picture the strike zone with the familiar thirds breaking up the strike zone. Now, take the middle-middle third and break that up into threes. Perez threw a fastball in the middle of that zone. Middle-middle-middle. It went very far and when it landed it happened to be worth two runs.
He threw pretty much the same pitch to Omar Narvaez, who spat on it. Something a little higher in the zone, please? Perez delivered, and so did Narvaez. He pulled it down the right field line for a solo dinger, bringing the score to 5-4.
Things should have gotten even worse for the Indians, as Ryon Healy smoked a ball to right center field. Allen sprinted into the gap, laid out, and managed to glove it despite the 35% catch probability.
Double Carlos Power?
Errors came next. The Mariners may be mashing, but they’re booting just as hard this season. Gonzalez reached on a throwing error by Gordon Beckham (though EE should have picked it). Carlos Santana lined a single next. Then, things got weird.
Haniger hit Beckham on the relay as Gonzalez sailed into third base. Santana hustled and dove headfirst into second as Beckham’s throw buzzed the infield ump. Santana advanced to third and the Indians made good use of its 4-to-5 outs in the inning by scoring an unearned run.
Perhaps the Carlos-Carlos Combo exerts mysterious forces on opposing teams that we do not quite have the capacity to understand.
Brad Hand came in for the bottom of the ninth and earned his fifth save to close down a strange game.
Did all those runs really count?
Yes. Tonight the Indians scored by:
- Base hit RBI (x2)
- Solo home run
- Wild pitch
- Hit by pitch
- Throwing error
Many of these runs were made possible by patience at the plate—the Indians walked seven times tonight. Maybe that isn’t exactly how you draw up the offensive game plan, but it worked. For Seattle, reminders of the fact that they’re supposed to be rebuilding are starting to emerge.
That’s it for this morning. I have to decide whether five-ish hours of sleep is worth it, or if I should fire up the coffee and see how weird reddit gets at 4am.