Well, that’s more like it. The Indians spoiled the Royals home opener by hammering starter Luke Hochevar both literally and figuratively. The Indians hit him for seven runs in the first inning and he later left the game after a Carlos Santana line drive slammed him in the ankle. Apparently the x-rays were negative for a break and showed a “medial contusion,” so we don’t need to feel guilty while savoring this win.
This game gave me a “finally everything is coming together” feeling. The first couple games of the season, we had the starting pitching but not the relief pitching, then we couldn’t get the offense together. Today we had a good start from Derek Lowe, who gave up 11 hits but had the defense (including 3 double plays) to prevent those 11 hits from becoming more than 3 earned runs. The bullpen did its job, and the offense put together a genuine old-fashioned two-out rally off Shelley Duncan’s checked swing single.
Perhaps the signing of Johnny Damon put the fear of God (or fear of the bench or Columbus or something) into Michael Brantley, because he started off the game exactly the way a lead-off hitter should: he got a hit. Then later in the first inning, he got another one. He’s still only batting .136.
This is only one game. Maybe a month or two from now, we’ll look back at this game as a turnaround moment, the moment when this assortment of players remembered how to put all the pieces together. Or maybe we’ll wistfully look back at it as the last time the Indians managed to score more than a handful of runs. For now, I’m just going to sit here and enjoy a big win.