The Indians played Thursday’s game against the Rays as efficiently as Hong Kong runs its mass transit system (seriously, I’ve used it. It’s aces.). After the bing-bang-boom of the Tribe’s 12-3 victory over the Angels the night before, one could easily expect to see the Indians’ bats explode again. After all, going into tonight’s game, the Tribe was hitting .325 (107-329) over its last nine games, averaging 6.8 runs a game.
What tonight’s game lacked in high score it made up for in sheer efficiency. Of the Indians’ 7 hits, three were home runs. Shin-Soo Choo wasted no time in getting the Indians on the board, leading off the game with a solo home run. In the second, Michael Brantley scored what turned out to be the game-winning run with a solo shot. Travis Hafner sealed the deal with a HUGE solo bomb in the 8th inning, just to make everybody breathe a little easier.
The Rays scored once, in the 5th, when Will Rhymes hit deep to the wall in right field for a triple and later scored on a Jose Molina groundout. All in all, Josh Tomlin pitched a magnificent game, giving up only 2 hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts during seven innings pitched. Of the 88 pitches he threw, 58 were strikes. See? Darned efficient.
This wasn’t a glamorous game, but it was good, solid baseball, and it’s exactly what the Indians must continue to do if they want to stay competitive.