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Baseball is really dumb sometimes

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Big innings are fun, especially when Francisco Lindor is involved. They aren’t so fun when they involve all of the other team.

Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Indians - Game Two Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Earlier today, the Tribe took game 1 of a doubleheader against the Braves by a score of 8-4. They were able to do that thanks to a 6-run outburst in the fifth inning. Game 2 saw a similar event when the Tribe scored five in one inning against Atlanta. Only this time, the Indians were already leading when the offense struck for five in the second inning. Between the offense breaking out again and Trevor Bauer being Trevor Bauer, the Indians picked up two wins in one day a single win because the bullpen decided to take the night off. Not bad. NOT GREAT, EITHER.

Trevor Bauer is good at pitching

You know this. I know this. Everyone who’s watched him over the past several seasons knows this. But it cannot be stressed enough how good Trevor Bauer is. Sure he used a lot of pitches to get through his outing, but when does he not? Trevor Bauer, he of the rubber arm, cares not for pitch counts. And it showed tonight. He carved through the Braves lineup, notching 10 strikeouts compared to just 2 walks. Everyone (including Matt Underwood) assumed he would be done after six innings when he was at 109 pitches, but he came out for the seventh for...some reason. But even after he was well over the century mark, Bauer was still hitting 95 mph on the radar gun and had an incredible amount of movement on his pitches. He had hitters fooled quite a bit, getting 20 whiffs across 6.1 innings (13 of them coming on his four-seam fastball).

His one blemish, a triple to Tyler Flowers (I was confused as well) in the fifth put the Braves on the board. But that was all that Bauer would give up on the evening. He wasn’t economical with his pitches, but he was damn effective. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is awarded the King of the Hill award next for his dominating performance tonight. Sorry it didn’t result in a win, Trevor. You deserved better than this.

Thankfully, Bauer had some breathing room because the Indians put on a show in...

The second inning

Touki Toussaint looked great in his first appearance this season, and at 22 years old, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. But he hit a major bump in the road tonight when he came face to face with the...prolific?...Cleveland offense. He had a rough first inning, and it was but a glimpse of the struggles that he would have an inning later. His first inning featured a hit by pitch, two singles, a wild pitch, and a walk. All told, he got out of the inning in a 2-0 hole. There was damage, but nothing insurmountable.

Then the second inning happened.

Roberto Perez popped up to start the inning, but then the Tribe got rolling with the following:

  • Mike Freeman single
  • Francisco Lindor (!) single
  • Leonys Martin hit by pitch (again, in the same place)
  • José Ramírez (!!) single (Freeman, Lindor scores [!!!])
  • Carlos Santana (MVP) single (Martin scores)
  • Carlos González hit by pitch (stop hitting our guys)
  • Jake Bauers double (Ramírez, Santana scores)
  • Tyler Naquin intentionally walked (strange, but it led to...)
  • Roberto Pérez grounds into an inning ending double play*

At this point, Matt Underwood began to think out loud on air, asserting that an inning where a ton of guys go to the plate and employ the “death by a thousand cuts” strategy is more entertaining for fans than the rally-killing dinger strategy. It doesn’t happen often, but I happen to agree. Yeah, home runs are great, but getting to see the line keep moving and seeing guys contribute who often don’t is entertaining. This is the best take:

All in all, a fantastic day of baseball really annoying day of baseball thanks to the dumpster fire bullpen. The night game specifically featured a nice, easygoing game for the majority of the evening until the bullpen ruined everything. Every starter reached with either a hit or a walk, and José Ramírez had two hits after not getting one in game 1. Could having Lindor back in the lineup be helping Ramírez feel less pressure to perform? Who knows. But having José Ramírez drive in Francisco Lindor was a sight that’s been sorely missed this season. Hopefully we see it 257 more times this year.

The ninth inning

This wasn’t initially a section in this recap. I added it as the ninth inning unfolded because the Indians just about bullpen just straight up gave it all away with their first major bullpen implosion of the season. The Braves got their leadoff man Nick Markakis on base with a single. Adam Cimber came in and dumped a big ol’ can of gasoline on a small, smoldering ember. That ember grew into a fierce blaze with walks to Dansby Swanson and Tyler Flowers. Johan Camargo struck out and Ender Inciarte struck out before and after the walks, but the bases were loaded. Ozzie Albies knocked the first pitch he saw into the right field corner to score 2 runs. Cimber then walked the next two hitters, Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman, to bring home another run.

Editor’s Note: At this point, you’re probably wondering “Where is Brad Hand?”. Well, my dear reader, let me tell you. He was not pitching. Maybe he was enjoying a nice bath. Or maybe he was fiddling around with the new fighter in Smash Ultimate (Joker from Persona 5). Hell, maybe he was napping. But he wasn’t pitching. And he wasn’t pitching because he was really needed earlier in an 8-4 game. Really, I assure you his presence was absolutely 100% necessary. Please do not be upset with me. I did not make this decision, however asinine it may have been. I am merely a weaver of words on an internet website.

Enter Cody Anderson.

It went about as well as you would expect with him facing Ronald Acuña Jr. A double to left field on the second pitch of the at-bat gave the Braves their first lead of the night. But wait! The fun was not over! Cody Anderson, doing his best Adam Cimber impression, walked Nick Markakis (you know, the hitter who started the inning). Johan Camargo decided to swing the bat for some reason and ended up flying out to mercifully end the inning.

A.J. Minter came in to save the game for the Braves and he did just that, striking out Jake Bauers, Tyler Naquin and Roberto Pérez in order. Game over.

Tidbits 2: Francisco Boogaloo This is supposed to be the fun section

  • Carlos González made an amazing diving catch in left field in the eighth inning to save a run, possibly 2. The score was 7-3 at the time and it would’ve gotten a bit too close for comfort without that play.
  • The bullpen walked 5 hitters in the ninth inning.
  • Braves pitching plunked four Cleveland batters in this game. Leonys Martin was hit on the same foot twice.
  • People were wooing quite a bit in the crowd tonight. It’s time for them to stop.
  • The bullpen walked 5 hitters in the ninth inning.
  • On the other hand, a lot of folks busted out the “MVP” chant for Carlos Santana. This is a campaign I can get behind.
  • Something is up with the lights in Progressive Field since they keep turning off and on. Rick Manning is intrigued by this.
  • The bullpen walked 5 hitters in the ninth inning.
  • For those of you wondering why Dan Otero didn’t get runs charged to him, allow LGFLGT Jason Lukehart to explain:

My philosophy on doubleheaders is always to split them. Win the first game and you’re playing with house money. The Tribe won both one today and are sitting on a nice little 5-game 1-game winning losing streak. A win tomorrow afternoon will stretch that streak to 6 and give them back to back series sweeps. give them another series win. Shane Bieber looks to get it done on Easter.

THE BULLPEN WALKED 5 HITTERS IN THE NINTH INNING.

*Why do you hurt us, David Fabian?