I’m going to keep this recap quick — it’s the least I can do after that frustrating five-and-a-half hour mess of a game.
First, let’s focus on the good:
-Corey Kluber didn’t get rained out! After Kluber’s first two starts were washed away against Oakland and San Diego, the Indians managed to play a game Corey started on the same day it was originally scheduled.
-Not only did Kluber get to pitch, he looked really good out there today. Despite the rain (which delayed the start of the game and interrupted the game in the 4th inning), Kluber came out and gave the Indians 7.1 solid innings, striking out 6, walking 0, and allowing 8 hits while surrendering 2 runs. I have to give him a lot of credit for coming out after a rain delay and really saving the bullpen for much of this game (which was sorely needed after the past week).
-Cody Allen and Scrabble each pitched a third of an inning, and they kept their ERAs at 0.00 on the young season. I have to say, I did not foresee this kind of impact from Scrabble after the mid-season trade last year… he’s been incredible.
-Michael Brantley hit his first homer of the year, which gave the Indians the initial 1-0 lead. You don’t expect much power from Dr. Smooth, so you take it when you get it.
-David Murphy had another big hit in the 9th inning today — after a rough first week in Cleveland, Murphy has really bounced back and has been hitting the cover off the ball. I’m encouraged by these developments, and I think you should be, too.
-Alexei Ramirez, the 8th hitter in the Chicago lineup today, is absolutely on fire. He added two more hits today (he has a hit in every game he’s played this season), including a home run off John Axford that ended the game. Obviously, Ramirez is going to slow down at some point, but he is some kind of locked in right now.
And the bad:
-John Axford did a pretty good Chris Perez impression, giving up a 2-run walk off shot immediately after the Indians took the lead in the top of the 9th. I won’t tear the guy apart, as this kind of thing is going to happen to everyone at some point, and Axford has looked pretty decent thus far… but the walk to lead off the inning was pretty inexcusable. Like I said, though, it happens, and you just have to move on.
-Carlos Santana is in one of his “too big of a step, too long of a swing” phases, and it’s hard to watch. I don’t understand Santana; he gets the same hitch in his swing a couple times every year and it always takes him a week or two to work out of it. Why does this keep happening and why does it take so long to fix? I’m sure there are very obvious answers, but it’s frustrating.
-Asdrubal Cabrera is not my favorite Indian at the moment. He went hitless as a leadoff hitter (again), and popped up on the first pitch in a key spot late in the game (again). I just spent my Saturday watching Francisco Lindor dazzle AA with his glove and bat, so I’m probably a little more down on Cabrera than most at the moment. At least I can say he’s taking slightly more walks than he usually does, which is buoying his value somewhat.
-Ryan Raburn is playing too much, but that’s a function of the plethora of lefties the Indians have faced so far this season. He hasn’t been hopeless at the plate thus far, but his .270 slugging percentage is really low.
-The grounds crew at US Cellular was less than inspiring, taking way too long to get the tarp out in the 4th inning. Those guys can’t hold a candle to the fast and efficient work of the Progressive Field grounds crew, that’s for sure.
The Indians are currently under .500, and they head to Detroit to try to get back on track. Taking 2 out of 3 would be nice, huh?
The Tribe has Monday off while another round of snow heads into the Great Lakes region. I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THIS, WINTER.