My daughter really got into baseball during the 2016 season. Sometime last year, I asked her who her favorite player is. She immediately replied “Jose Ramirez.” I asked why. She replied “Because he always gets on base.” While we both acknowledged that “always” getting on base is pretty much impossible, Ramirez does it an awful lot. In Sunday’s win against the Tigers, Ramirez had five extra-base hits. Five. Who does that? The Greatest of All Time, that’s who.
Sunday’s win brought the team’s winning streak to 11 games and gave the Indians a four-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit. They’ve never done that before. Ever. And they did in style, with an 11-1 victory behind the GOAT’s bat and solid pitching from Josh Tomlin, making his first start after a month on the DL for a strained left hamstring. Tomlin went 5.2 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and striking out 2. Compared to most Indians’ pitchers, a mere 2 strikeouts looks paltry. However, with Tomlin, the anomaly is giving up a walk; he’s only given up 13 all season. Tomlin combined with Nick Goody, Zach McAllister, and Dan Otero to hold Detroit to 8 hits and 1 run.
Meanwhile, the Indians scored 11 runs, led by Ramirez’s two home runs and three doubles. He hits doubles the way some players hit singles. Both of Ramirez’s home runs were assisted home runs–reportedly the first time in MLB where a player had two assisted home runs in one game. It was the Jose Ramirez show defensively as well, with the GOAT assisting in three of the Indians five (yes, five) double plays on the day.
Ramirez wasn’t the only Indian to go yard–Francisco Lindor hit a solo home run in the 6th. Nor was he the only Indian with a double. Lonnie Chisenhall and Edwin Encarnacion both had RBI doubles. The great thing about a game like this is the lopsided score gave Francona the latitude to give the starters a little breather by taking them out early and giving some playing time to utility players (Erik Gonzalez, Abraham Almonte, and Giovanny Urshela), younger guys (Francisco Mejia), and those coming back from the DL (Lonnie Chisenhall). In Little League, everybody plays. Today, everybody played and just about everybody hit. Which is as it should be.