With 9 innings in a ballgame, teams have ample opportunity to score. Sometimes teams look like they’re asleep for the first 8 innings and then suddenly awake up in the 9th to win the game. That’s very exciting, and scoring only in the 9th inning can win a ballgame–just look at the Indians’ win in the opener on Monday. But scoring only in the 9th inning can sometimes mean you’re too deep in the hole to come back–just look at the Indians’ 6-1 loss in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. And that’s just frustrating. The Indians finally remembered that they’re allowed to score before the 9th inning. It took a few games, but in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the A’s, they put up runs in the 4th, 7th, and 9th innings to take the series from Oakland with a 6-4 win.
This was a good and necessary win (only 87 more to get to reach my prediction, guys!). Mike Aviles put the Tribe on the board first with a two-run homer in the 4th inning–the Indians’ first home run of the year. The other runs came on good situational hitting. In the 7th, Michael Brantley grounded out but managed to score Jason Kipnis (who had two stolen bases on the night). In the 9th, Brantley singled to score Kipnis and Ryan Raburn, and David Murphy’s sacrifice fly scored Carlos Santana.
Some bad things about this win:
- Zach McAllister looked terrible. He gave up 3 earned runs and 4 walks in 4 innings. Granted he had 4 strikeouts, but he just didn’t have the control.
- The Indians had runners in scoring position in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th innings and failed to score. In total, they were 2-13 with runners in scoring position left 11 runners on base.
Some good things about this win:
- The Tribe had 9 hits and drew 7 walks with only 4 strikeouts. So they’re starting the hit the ball and showing some discipline at the plate. Without any genuine power hitters, they’re going to have to do this every day.
- Both Mike Aviles and Michael Brantley made third outs with runners in scoring position. And both of them came back later to redeem themselves with multiple RBI. Instead of investing in all those guys named Dave in the off-season, maybe we should have picked up another Mike or two?