When he was just a boy, Franmil Reyes derailed a train when he reached out to touch it as it passed. The train flew off of the tracks, burst into flames, and incinerated the nearby woods. After carrying all of the local creatures to safety on his back in one trip, Franmil ventured back in to survey the damage. He found a length of still-glowing maple that he whittled into a bat with his teeth. He has used it ever since. 
Reyes launched two moonshots today (one 450+ feet “into the batter’s eye shrubbery” according to Tom Hamilton) and led the Cleveland Indians’ offense in an 8-5 victory. Every Indians hitter except for Domingo Santana got in on the action, with additional home runs from Francisco Lindor, José Ramírez, and Sandy León.
Lindor’s afternoon proved especially fruitful. After his two-run home run in the third, he added two doubles that led to another RBI and a run scored. This comes on an afternoon when many fans wondered if Tito Francona might sit Lindor to give him an extra day of rest; some time to refocus after struggling for much of the season. I know “don’t sit your studs” is an adage from Fantasy Football, but it carried over to real life today.
Ramírez drove in two and scored twice, mixing in a little bit of everything. One RBI and run came on his homer; the other RBI on a groundout; and finally, the second run after he drew a walk and came around to score.
As for Sandy León, I don’t even know what happened. He drew two walks in addition to his dinger. Any offense from him is a huge boost at this point, though it may be the last time we see him for a while with Roberto Pérez on the way back to the lineup next week.
Adam Plutko only worked for 2.2 innings this afternoon, as he is still working on getting stretched back out after being moved to the pen after Zach Plesac edged him out for the fifth starting spot after summer camp.
While he gave up six hits I think credit belongs to the Tiger’s approach against him. They knew he planned to work ahead in the count and countered by getting aggressive early in at-bats. Fortunately for the Tribe, the bullpen allowed only two runs in the final 7.1 innings. I’m still adjusting to the idea that we have a fantastic bullpen. This is maybe the first time I’ve felt so confident in one since the second half of 2016.
Bit Tribe? Tids!
- Tigers Manager Rob Gardenhire got thrown out of the game after arguing that a ground rule double shouldn’t have been a ground rule double despite the ground rules indicating that, indeed, a ball stuck under the fence is a ground rule double. I wish I could properly share the words used by Gardenhire and home plate umpire to discuss this, but if I did I would have to ban myself from the site.
- Miguel Cabrera blew through a stop sign at third and was thrown out at home by ten or twenty feet. It is very strange watching future hall of famers in the twilight of their career. I’m not sure that at any point in his career he would have scored on that one.
- James Karinchak pitched 1.2 innings, struck out three, allowed no hits or walks, and yelled at the baseball, sky, dirt, and on occasion his glove.
- Franmil Reyes took a fastball off of the hand in the top of the ninth. While at first it looked like a serious injury might have occurred, he was spotted laughing in the dugout moments later, poking at the bruise. Why can he laugh in the face of pain? In his teenage years a small kitten was trapped in the rubble of a collision between two semi-trucks. Franmil Reyes approached and slow-blinked at the kitten to indicate that it would be safe. Once the kitten was calm, he pulled the drivers from the trucks and resuscitated them with one slow-blink each. He then grabbed one truck in either hand, deadlifted them, and threw them into the ocean where they could form a new coral reef for endangered ocean species. That kitten grew up to be Tony Hawk.