For those of who don’t need to ask your dude how a game of baseball works, what you just witnessed was truly wonderful. There were also several innings of boredom, but let’s just ignore those and focus on the fact that Yasiel Puig is amazing.
Puig entered the bottom of the 10th having watched the Tigers walk the batter ahead of him when they were down in the count, 1-0. It wasn’t necessarily a knock on Puig — Detroit walked Carlos Santana, a very good hitter. Whether or not Puig took it as a sign of disrespect, he took the pitch and plopped it just out of reach of the right fielder and Oscar Mercado scored from third.
Puig’s big hit was far from his only one — he went 4-for-5 and was the only Indians batter not named Carlos Santana to have more than one hit on the day. Santana also knocked in the only other run of the game with one of his two singles.
After the game, Puig jokingly said that he “finally did something” to help the team, which a goal he’s had since joining the Indians at the trade deadline. He’s been on a bit of slump after storming the shores of Cleveland early on, but he might be getting back to the Wild Horse the Indians wanted when they traded away an All-Star pitcher.
On the mound, Aaron Civale received a roaring applause when he exited the game in the eighth inning, and he earned every decibel of it. His 7.2 innings of work marked a career high and he allowed one or fewer runs for the sixth time in nine starts. He worked the edges of the zone to the tune of 17 called strikes (to just five swinging strikes).
The bullpen combined for a perfect 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and just four balls put in play. Even the every-inconsistent Adam Cimber pitched a gem with two strikeouts in his tense 10th inning domination. Maybe he’s finally rounding the corner again into a reliable reliever — in his last three outings he’s allowed just one earned run in 3.1 innings. I’m not saying it’s a for-sure sign he can be trusted in the playoffs, but you can bet we’re probably going to find out when and if the Indians make it to October.
The win puts the Indians’ record against the Tigers this season at an astounding 17-1 and keeps the Indians right in the thick of the Wild Card hunt. For the more optimistic of you, the Twins are currently losing to the White Sox. If that continues, the Indians would finish the day four games back for the AL Central lead.