Bobby Bradley hit two bombs and José Ramírez fouled a ball off his face. Those are your highlights of Game 1 of tonight’s doubleheader, everything else just filled space until the contest ended after seven innings in a 9-4 loss.
To be fair, Cesar Hernandez did add another home run, and for a while, it looked like Cleveland would keep pace with one of the worst teams in baseball as they scored exactly one run in each of the first four innings. But alas, they could not.
Cal Quantrill was utterly hittable with a bizarre location pattern that showed he wasn’t able to stay on the edge of the zone with any consistency. He either missed by a mile or left hanging sliders ready to be juiced into the outfield.
Can you tell what he’s trying to accomplish here? Because I sure can’t.
Quantrill relied almost entirely on his slider (15 times) and sinker (13), with the former at least generating a few swings and misses. Pitching coach Carl Willis talked before the game about helping Quantrill be slightly less amped every outing as a way to help him keep up his deception and not hang so many pitches. He didn’t do it tonight, clearly, as the velocity on all his pitches was up and he wasn’t fooling anybody. He ultimately finished with four earned runs and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work — technically putting his team in a position to win, but needing some help.
That help didn’t come, though, as Bryan Shaw’s walk issues continued and Blake Parker and Trevor Stephan each gave up a pair of runs. All three of Stephans outs were via strikeouts, but he also allowed three hits in his lone inning of work.
The scariest part of the night wasn’t watching every pitcher groove pitches to Miguel Cabrera. It was watching José Ramírez hit himself in the face with a foul ball in one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen happen on a baseball field. He was so far ahead on a ball that it came up directly and hit him square in the cheek.
I have literally never seen this before. Jose Ramirez just fouled a ball off of his face. pic.twitter.com/vexDDTqQPP— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) July 1, 2021
After going to the ground in pain briefly, he stood up, grounded out to first, and even played defense in the following half-inning. He was eventually taken out, however, and is not in the lineup for Game 2.