By his own lofty standards he’s set over his first handful of career starts, Aaron Civale had a pretty mediocre day. He gave up a home run *gasp* and two runs *double gasp*.
In all reality, Civale has been tremendous so far and he didn’t disappoint in the sixth outing of his young career. He held the Tigers to just six hits and struck out five without issuing a single walk over a career-high seven innings. Civale’s 90-pitch mix consisted heavily of his 92-mph sinker (42 times) and cutter (30 times) with his slider sprinkled in (11 times).
The lone Tigers homer came on a curveball that just barely caught too much of the plate. It was one of only six curves that Civale threw on the night, and the only one put in play. Unfortunately, it was put in play over the outfield wall by Dawel Lugo.
Like most of Civale’s other starts, his incredible performance almost wasn’t enough. He held the Tigers to only two runs, sure, but for a lot of the game it looked like it wouldn’t be enough. Or, at the very least, it looked like we were in for a lengthy multi-inning game. Francisco Lindor was having none of that.
Buck Farmer wanted no part of Frankie, but you see this little green dot in the chart below? That’s the titular doinker that he put over the left field wall to give the Indians a 3-2 lead which Jason Kipnis would add onto in the next inning.
Where yesterday’s homer bounced back into play — and still counted as a dinger — today’s left the park after stopping for a brief visit at the top of the fence.
All Mr. Smile. pic.twitter.com/y9eo8Jox6k— MLB (@MLB) August 29, 2019
Not everything has to be crushed, leave that to Franmil Reyes. You can also leave hustle grounders to him, too, because he ran his buck off to get to first base in the ninth inning, much to surprise and enjoyment of his teammates in the dugout.
And finally, the best part of the game: Brad Hand didn’t blow it. He didn’t even look shaky. He looked downright great. Maybe this is one of those confidence builder games and we can forget the last month-plus even happened.