José Ramírez struck out three times and did not reach base in five plate appearances. Still, Cleveland prevailed thanks to three hits and an equal number of RBIs from Bradley Zimmer and Daniel Johnson’s first major league home run.
As the season deepens so too does the importance of roster depth. With Zimmer, Johnson, and Oscar Mercado, have we finally settled on something useful? It is too early to say — this roster is probably saved as outfield_reconfig_finalfinalFINAL (6).pdf on somebody’s laptop. We can say that the results it provided today were delightful indeed.
Starting pitcher Zach Plesac struck out only three Athletics but kept the basepaths clear. With six hits, one walk, and a hit-by-pitch, Oakland battled him for every runner. Opposing starter Chris Bassitt certainly didn’t slouch, but Zimmer and Johnson struck in the first, the fifth, and the seventh to put Cleveland ahead for good.
Nick Wittgren, Phil Maton, and Bryan Shaw pitched the final three in order for Cleveland. They struck out five and didn’t allow a baserunner. May I have some more, please?
- Zimmer’s dinger came on the first pitch of the game. It traveled 423-feet.
- Johnson’s donger came on a subsequent pitch. It also traveled 423-feet. Neat!
- We’re not done highlighting Johnson’s day. He made a fabulous throw to turn a Brett Lawrie gapper into a single and also added an excellent catch later in the contest.
- During the postgame interview, Tito Francona said, “I don’t know if people appreciate Bryan Shaw as much as they should.” So, we know he doesn’t read the blog now. Bummer.
Matt Chapman made Matt Olson leap for a throw to first in the top of the ninth inning. Oscar Mercado reached on the play and later scored. Chapman erased a 52-game errorless streak in the process.
Cleveland catches Zack Greinke once more in Houston with JC Mejia to face the legend down. First pitch comes at 8:10 PM.
Unless you want to watch Chicago-St. Louis on ESPN. I’m sure that the broadcast will feature a topical and lively discussion.