If the Indians are going to crawl back into contention and fulfill the spring training hype, they appear to have a solid one-two punch to lead them to it.
Trevor Bauer (7.1 INN/4 H/1 ER/7 SO/3 BB) followed up Corey Kluber’s gem with an excellent outing of his own. The hitters, highlighted by Brandon Moss’ sixth homer of the year, did just enough damage to back Bauer and a wobbly bullpen.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana (7 INN/8 H/2 ER/4 SO/4 BB) was solid, but the Indians wasted no time in getting to him. It didn’t come without some good fortune, however, as Jason Kipnis got a gift triple when right-fielder Avasail Gracia broke in on the looper allowing the ball to roll hopelessly to the wall. Michael Brantley would bring him in.
There was a moment of serious in the third inning as Kipnis, hotter than lava right now, caught a curveball on the hand. Thankfully, all of Cleveland can breathe as it appears it was nothing serious. He and Brantley are the only guys who anyone feels confident in getting the job done on a consistent basis, so without him? Let’s just say that I don’t want them taking any days off that aren’t actual days off.
Back to that whole “wobbly bullpen” thing: They did their job. But Tito went to the well three times in the eighth, and frankly, I think he does that just to make me turn 76 on Friday instead of 36. I’m not sure he needed to pull Bauer when he did (I’ve been saying that a lot lately…hmmm…), but it’s all hands on deck now. If Allen needs to make four outs, put him out there. Allan responded with three strikeouts; rounding into his steady-hand self after a slow start.
W: Bauer (3-1); L: Quintana (2-4); S: Allen (7)