This game had all the hallmarks of a game to miss — Tribe on the road, against a left-hander, the Royals came into the game playing great baseball, and Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco had not been sharp lately. Quite honestly, I figured if the Indians were gonna win they’d need to win ugly.
Make no mistake, however, there was nothing ugly about this win.
On a night when a significant portion of fans were probably more concerned with the Cavaliers and their playoff series against the Chicago Bulls (note: LeBron James is still very talented at basketball), the Indians put together one of their best wins on the still-young season. Danny Duffy, a talented young left handed pitcher, was knocked around by the Indians left-handed lineup (Ryan Raburn batted cleanup — I know he’s hitting well on the season, but that still speaks some volumes to how much this team needs a right handed bat in the every day lineup) and chased after only 1.0+ innings. Jason Kipnis was the main reason for this, and it seems we are starting to say that a lot since Kipnis has been inserted at the top of the everyday lineup.
Carlos Carrasco was… well, he was decent tonight. He gave up runs, but he kept the Indians firmly in control of the game and he lasted 7.0 innings. He struck out 6, walked 2, and allowed 5 hits while allowing 3 ERs. It was a perfectly capable and useful start, and it was all this team needed to blow out the Royals.
The lineup didn’t benefit from only one player — as I’ve said before, this team is going to function well when it can draw offense from every slot in the lineup, and in the last couple wins we’ve really seen this borne out. Tonight every single starter got a hit (even you, Brett Hayes, hooray!). Mike Aviles had 3 hits, because he does that from time to time. Brandon Moss had a beastly game with two extra-base hits, a home run and a double. I’m not the biggest Moss fan in the world, but I don’t doubt his power or what he can bring to an offense.
All in all, it was a good win. The Indians needed it, they got it, and they looked good doing it. While not much has gone the way we planned this season, this win was exactly how prognosticators drew it up in the offseason. Now, the big question is: can the team continue that tomorrow as they try to find Corey Kluber his first win of the season?
Tune in tomorrow at 2:10pm EST to find out.