On a night when the Indians had a crowd of over 27,000 and honored radio play-by-play man Tom Hamilton for his twenty-five seasons as the voice of the Cleveland Indians, the guys on the field more than got the job done as the Indians began their homestand with a 12-1 thrashing of the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers have been decimated by injuries this year and currently has the worst record in the Major Leagues at 43-66. Among Texas’ many weaknesses is its pitching, as the Rangers staff has the highest ERA in the majors. That poor pitching was on display throughout the night. Texas pitcher Jerome Williams was making his second start of the year and it was not a good one. Williams allowed ten runs in four innings and now sports a 6.71 ERA for the 2014 season.
The Tribe struck quickly in the bottom of the first when Mike Aviles reached bases on a fielder’s choice and Michael Brantley doubled to right to score Aviles with what was the first of three hits for Brantley tonight. The Indians then extended the lead with two runs each in the third and fourth innings and a whopping six runs in the fifth to take an 11-1 lead. A home run by Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth capped of the scoring and gave the Tribe a 12-1 lead. Every Indians starter had at least one hit, and Aviles, Brantley, Chisenhall, and David Murphy all had multi-hit games, led by Murphy’s 4-4 night in which he scored two runs, had a pair of RBI, and threw out Adrian Beltre at the plate to end a threat in the second inning.
Indians starter Danny Salazar did an excellent job in allowing only one run over six innings to improve his record to 4-4. Relievers Kyle Crockett, Austin Adams, and Carlos Carrasco were less impressive, but the bullpen allowed only one run in three innings.
So now the Indians sit at 54-55 on the season. The Tribe has won the last couple of games I have posted on and each time I’ve thought that they may be on the verge of turning the corner. This time I am not willing to make that judgement. While I do not think that the trades of Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera will really affect the team in terms of wins and losses, we are looking at a team that is 109 games into their season. At this point this team probably is what we have been seeing on the field for the past four months. That being said, I don’t believe this is a team that will quit on their season, and if anyone can get this group to go on a run of significance it’s Terry Francona. With the Indians honoring Jim Thome tomorrow night, maybe the magic of this evening can carry over.