The good news
They did it! The Indians overcame the unplanned absence of Carlos Carrasco (more on that in the section labeled “the bad news”) to win 1-0 with a tremendous performance by the bullpen, who shut the Tigers out for ten innings.
The starter for the Tigers was Justin Verlander, whose resurgence this season has been remarkable–he’s gone from a guy who looked like he was maybe done for a couple years there to near the top of the pitcher leaderboards for WAR this year at age 33. Verlander continued his dominance today, no-hitting the Indians through five before Jason Kipnis landed a single in the sixth.
(By the way, the superstition that the announcers aren’t allowed to talk about no-hitters while they’re in progress is nonsense, right? The players can’t hear the announcers. Why can’t/don’t they talk about the most interesting thing that’s happening in the game?)
Anyway, as soon as Verlander came out of the game and the Tigers replaced him with reliever Alex Wilson, the Indians got men on second and third but were unable to bring either home.
This set the scene for the eventual breakthrough in the tenth–reliever Justin Wilson loaded the bases and Jose Ramirez brought the run home–on his birthday, no less!
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 18, 2016
The bad news
Two pitches. That’s how long Carlos Carrasco lasted today for the Indians, before he was hit by a line drive in the hand and had to come out. Later, the diagnosis came in that it was a non-displaced fracture of fifth metacarpal of the right hand…I’ll be honest, I have little or no idea what that means.
Fifth metacarpal is in the hand, at the base of the little finger.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) September 17, 2016
Hey, thanks Paul.
Anyway, there’s no timetable yet for Carrasco’s return, which could have a big impact on the team in a postseason series, especially given that Danny Salazar may not be available for the postseason either. A Kluber/Salazar/Carrasco/Bauer rotation could dominate the postseason. Sub in Tomlin for Salazar and that could still be true. But Kluber/Bauer/Tomlin/I dunno, Cody Anderson maybe?–that sounds a whole lot less appealing.
- After hearing the phrase “go-ahead run” used by the announcers at least 33* different times during this game, I had to wonder, what exactly is a go-ahead run? Is that when the other team plays no defense and makes no effort to stop the run, saying, “go ahead!”? Was that a bad joke? You bet it was. But I can’t think of any other explanation.
- *Number may not be factually accurate. But the specificity made you think it was, didn’t it?
- Remember a couple of years ago when the Indians just couldn’t beat Detroit? This year they’re now 13-1 against the Tigers. Safe to say those demons have been exorcised.
- Play of the game (non-walkoff department), starring Jason Kipnis:
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 17, 2016