What does Carlos Santana mean to the Cleveland Indians?
First and foremost, he’s pretty much delivered a win two days in a row. Slice that by Win Probability Added or consider how he’s reversed two blown Brad Hand saves, it comes to this: the entire feel of the season might be completely different right now if not for Santana coming through in the clutch.
He happened to hit some important milestones on that swing, too.
That home run also gives Santana 2000 career total bases with the Indians, which leads the team for the 2000s.— Jason Lukehart (@JasonLukehart) August 13, 2019
The only other players with 2000+ total bases for the Indians since 1947 are Thome, Vizquel, Doby, Lofton, and Manny Ramirez. Pretty good company.
You simply can’t hang his evening on just the one swing, though. Santana went 3-4 with a walk. He anchored the middle of the order batting from the three-hole. Behind him, Franmil Reyes and Jose Ramirez both went 2-4 with a home run. I’m not saying that he magically made the guys behind him better. It’s just wonderful to look at an Indians box score and see the heart of the order absolutely obliterating baseballs left and right. It feels like it’s been a long, long time since we had this kind of power threat in Cleveland.
And we didn’t even have Puig tonight!
Are you going to get around to actually recapping the game?
This is quickly devolving into a Carlos Santana celebration recap. I’m going to let that run its course.
I will briefly mention the exceptional plays made by the defense tonight. The found an important double play in the fourth inning that perhaps cricumvented a disastrous inning for Plesac, whom the Red Sox squared up well all night. Several catches at the wall prevented runs. Greg Allen threw Xander Bogaerts out at second after mucking up a play earlier in the game.
I will also briefly discuss the pitching. Plesac pitching in tonight’s game felt like the chase scene at the end of The Wrong Trousers, where Gromit is furiously laying down track in the front of the train to make sure it just keeps moving forward. I expected the Red Sox to erupt for a dozen runs at any given moment, but that moment never came to pass.
It wasn’t, shall we say, an incredibly effective outing. Plesac still found a way to avoid major damage despite that, going five innings and allowing four runs. The bullpen picked up where he left off: somehow keeping long fly balls in the park and dodging catastrophe. Mostly. Hunter Wood took a liner off the leg. Tyler Clippard got Jackie Bradley Jr. to pop up and somehow the ball just floated away while shouting my people need me before landing in the bleachers.
The only great pitching tonight came from Nick Wittgren and Oliver Perez, who combined for a scoreless eighth. After, Hand once again struggled with command. He walked two and after giving up the tying run needed another fine play at the wall to avoid giving up the go-ahead run.
Isn’t this supposed to be a Carlos Santana celebration recap?
Carlos Santana is one of 25 players in baseball history with 5900+ regular-season plate appearances and zero sacrifice bunts. https://t.co/QnCeMN6tIK— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) August 13, 2019