How do I start a positive recap? It’s been so long, I can’t remember.
They bunted again are you f— ... no that’s not it.
Leonys Martin why is he still on this f— ... nope, not that either.
GREG ALLEN HOLY SHIT I LOVE YOU.
There it is.
I’ve never been a big believer in Greg Allen, I’ll admit that. I’ll also admit that I might be wrong if he can do this a couple times every week, because that fella was on fire tonight, along with the rest of the offense.
After hitting the go-ahead homer last night, Allen followed it up with a pair of triples and two runs batted in tonight as the Tribe took the series in Boston by a final closer-than-it-should-have-been score of 14-9.
On another night, Allen’s showing would have been quite the accomplishment — not to mention the otherworldly finger gun display he put on after his second triple. Seriously, look at this beauty (and I’m not talking about Mike Saurbaugh’s firm butt-whack).
4.1 pews per second and a 0.17 second draw time (and one good whack) on this absolute beaut of a finger gun from Gunslinger Allen pic.twitter.com/h1aV2NDJm2— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) May 30, 2019
Tonight, all of that is merely a footnote.
Greg Allen was one of seven Indians batters to have at least two hits tonight, and three others had three hits apiece. It just so happens those three — Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, and Carlos Santana — were the top three in the lineup. What I’m saying is, things went well tonight. And something about the number three being lucky.
Santana, for one, managed to do literally everything but hit a single tonight. Santana’s at-bats, in order, read as: 3B, BB, HR, BB, 2B, K. Now that’s a day young man. In the context of this game — a game in which 16 balls were put into play over 100 mph — Santana’s 97.1 mph home run might as well have been a dribbler. Surprisingly enough, it was the Indians’ only home run of the night.
The Indians scored 14 runs tonight and only had 1 home run.— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) May 30, 2019
The last time they scored at least 14 with 1 or fewer home runs was on 6/26/17 when they beat the Rangers, 15-9 with no home runs.
Jason Kipnis only had 1 hit in that game, too.
To be fair, without that big green asshole in left field the Indians would have probably had a couple more home runs tonight. Several clanged off the Green Monster, only to be doubles.
Despite the lone home, the Indians were not short on hard-hit balls. Rookie of the Year front-runner (yeah, I said it) Oscar Mercado had the hardest-hit Tribe ball of the night, a 109.4 mph scorcher for a single in the first inning. Four other Indians batters appeared among the top 10 in exit velocity tonight, including — most importantly — José Ramírez. Twice.
Since Ramírez took a mandatory vacation day on Monday, the struggling third baseman has gone 4-for-10 with two doubles. That seems good. I’ve been critical of Terry Francona this season, but giving José the day off might be the best thing he’s done all year — even if it came a little later than it should have. José is starting to get the swagger back, and he’s finally making hard contact. Dare I say he looks like he’s finally having fun out there?
Tito has also seemingly stuck to his word of letting the youth movement happen, even letting Oscar Mercado settle into the number two spot in the lineup. Tonight, Mercado rewarded his manager’s confidence with a 3-for-6 night. He had a couple ugly at-bats, though, and a troubling hole in his swing started to show tonight.
Let’s see if you can spot it.
All those strikes down and out of the zone were swings and misses, and two were on curveballs from Ryan Weber. Before everyone hops off the Mercado bandwagon, though, it’s only a couple pitches, and he did punch a slider down in the zone to left field late in the game. This bandwagon ain’t stopping anytime soon.
If there is one critical thing to take away from the position players tonight, it’s that Leonys Martin’s time should be running out in Cleveland. I fully commend him for carrying the torch for the offense early on when everyone else was terrible, but with good players starting to show up around him, and his own bat tanking, it doesn’t make sense for him to be the everyday center fielder for much longer. He got caught stealing on a bone-headed play tonight — don’t attempt to steal with a runner already on third, two outs, and Francisco Lindor at the plate, Leonys! — and once again he didn’t look great in the outfield. Maybe it won’t be until Tyler Naquin gets back and healthy, or maybe not even until Bradley Zimmer returns, but Martin doesn’t seem long for this roster.
But enough of that, this offense — wow! I don’t suspect a lot of 18-hit nights, but something along these lines with Lindor, Santana, and Ramírez leading the charge has to be what the front office envisioned when they stood pat on the roster they had heading into the regular season. Sprinkle in a bit of a surprisingly good Mercado and Allen with a dash of Jake Bauers, and suddenly the Indians don’t look ready to roll over and give up the AL Central quite yet.
The Indians also pitched tonight.