The Indians’ Monday night game against the Tampa Bay Rays was kind of weird. You had two very good starting pitchers in Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 1.86 ERA going into tonight’s game) and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer (3-1, 3.04). Both were middle of the road as far as hitting, with Cleveland batting .241 as a team and Tampa Bay .244. Everything pointed to a quick, low-scoring game.
Early in the Indians’ half of the 1st inning, my daughter remarked that Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer looked worried. At the time, he hadn’t yet given up any runs but had a runner on 1st base. Plus the Rays had already scored in their half of the first on a big double by Logan Morrison that brought home Brad Miller. Archer gave up three walks, a single, and a three-run homer to Lonnie Chisenhall for five earned runs, all in the 1st inning. So yeah, he had reason to look worried.
Carrasco gave up a solo dinger to Kevin Keirmaier in the 2nd to make the score 5-2. However, the Rays gave the Indians a couple gifts that inning as well. Archer’s control was poor, with a slider that hit the dirt more often than it hit the strike zone. Abraham Almonte started off the Indians’ half of the inning with a monster triple off the center field wall. Jason Kipnis took his second of two walks on the night. With Michael Brantley batting, Kipnis stole second. Norris’ throw to the bag was way off, allowing Almonte to score, making the score 6-2 Indians. And they had still only played two innings.
Carrasco was clearly not himself, giving up a total of 5 runs on 6 hits, with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Note that coming into the game, he had only given up a total of 8 walks so far this season. He came out of the game in the middle of the 4th with “left pectoral tightness.” Abraham Almonte also left the game at the top of the 5th with an aggravated right bicep strain–the same thing that was bothering him in Toronto.
Another unexpected outcome from this game: Andrew Miller gave up a run. (My bad–I mentioned his 17-inning scoreless streak in the open thread.) Not only that, Cody Allen gave up a run–a solo homer to Peter Bourjos in the 9th. Tampa Bay scored in six of the nine innings in which they batted. Cleveland scored in four of the eight innings in which they batted, including a solo home run from Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the 8th that turned out to be the game winning run.
With a final score of 7-8 and a game time of 3:33, this was not the low-scoring quick game I thought it would be going in. It was, however, a win. We’ll take it.