This game didn’t mean a whole heckuva lot for the Indians, but don’t tell Ryan Merritt that.
Merritt befuddled the freshly eliminated Royals for five innings, giving up just a first inning run on four strikeouts and he didn’t walk a batter. He retired 13 Royals in order before giving way to a rested bullpen, who continued to mow down Royals hitters.
The flukiest moment of the night? Drew Butera tripled off of Andrew Miller in the eighth inning. Sometimes baseball is just dumb. No other way to explain it.
The offense was paced by Carlos Santana, who continued his scorching hot stretch with a double and a triple and a pair of RBI, and Francisco Lindor, who broke out of his 0-for-eternity slump in a big way with a double and a game-busting three-run shot.
Yordano Ventura was his usual Jekyll and Hyde self, alternating between brilliance and wildness, with a pinch of his much-chronicled nasty streak. He apparently took issue with Lindor celebrating towards the Tribe dugout after his double that broke his slump. Next time up, Ventura plunked him. After a brief discussion with Drew Butera, he made his way to first. Ventura wasn’t done. He was quite demonstrative after picking Lindor off.
Needless to say, Yordano Ventura still hasn’t gotten the message of how to be a professional. He has all of the physical tools to be the Royals’ ace for years to come, but you have to wonder when/if they start to grow weary of his tough guy antics. Lindor got the last laugh with his homer later on, so much ado about nothing, really.
On the scoreboard front, nothing has changed. Texas, Boston and Detroit all won, so there still remains work to do to hopefully clinch homefield in the ALDS. Texas clinched homefield throughout the playoffs by virtue of their win tonight.
But the best thing about tonight? Yan Gomes made his return and got in a couple innings to knock some rust off! Win or lose, that would’ve made tonight worth it.
W: Ryan Merritt (1-0); L: Yordano Ventura (11-12)