During the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship run in 2016, there can be plenty of moments that were seen as the turning point during both the regular season and the postseason. But, the one that sticks out the most is when snapchat sensation (and Cavalier forward) Richard Jefferson revealed Lil’ Kev, a Tommy Bahama advertisement that was ripped out of an in-flight magazine by Jefferson when the Cavs were flying back from Detroit after their first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons. The advertisement looked just like Love, and it became famous due to the fact that Jefferson, through his snapchat, treated him like a human. Whether it was buying him his daily Starbucks, putting a seat belt on him while heading to practice, or just doing day-to-day things with the picture, Lil’ Kev became the Cavaliers rallying cry, one that turned into the wine and gold winning Cleveland’s first major sports championship in 52 years.
Fast forward 14 months and it seems as though the Indians may have found their own version of Lil’ Kev. During the Indians dominating 12-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to salvage a win in the series’ finale, pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer were seen on the telecast making a Lil’ Jose Ramirez; a baseball with an afro that included the middle with lighter hair, jewelry, glasses, and a jersey with the No. 11 and “Ramirez” written on the back. It was basically Jose Ramirez on a baseball.
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) June 15, 2017
Here’s a short video of Carrasco creating Lil’ Jose on the bench during Thursday’s win:
One year after losing in the Finals, the Cavs season ended the way Cleveland wanted it to following the creation of Lil’ Kev. The Indians lost in Game 7 of the World Series last year and now have their own little team mascot the following season. With the team struggling offensively, hopefully this is just the thing the Indians need to wake up their bats. You see the trend? This could be the rallying cry that the club needs to not only win the American League Central division, but to come up victorious in November, on baseball’s biggest stage. The Cavs did it; the Indians can to.
Let’s take a look at some of the top highlights from the Indians win over the Dodgers Thursday afternoon:
Hitting in the three-hole for the first time this season, Ramirez started the scoring with a RBI single in the first inning because you cannot create Lil’ Jose Ramirez without him making an impact on the game. Well, J-Ram almost always makes an impact on the game these days.
Many Cleveland fans want Bradley Zimmer to be the everyday center fielder rather than a platoon guy that only starts a few games a week. Not only does he have power, but Zimmer has done a great job defensively thus far and, although Indians fans seem to love many of his attributes, his speed jumps out. He was able to beat out an infield single to notch an RBI and the team’s third run of the first inning Thursday afternoon.
Ramirez has been one heck of a hitter at Progressive Field and he continued that Thursday, getting a RBI double to start 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
On Tuesday, I made it known that I wanted to see Edwin Encarnacion back in the cleanup spot. The move would not only jump start the offense, but EE has also been the team’s hottest hitter lately and deserves his No. 4 spot back. Well, in his first game back in the cleanup spot, Encarnacion was 3-for-3 with a home run, one RBI, four runs, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. He got on base in all five of his plate appearances and helped lead the Indians to score their most runs since April 30, when they also scored 12 runs.
Here’s Encarnacion’s no-doubt-about-it solo home run on Thursday.
Lonnie Chisenhall may not have started, but he sure made the most of his three at-bats after coming into the game for Austin Jackson. In his first at-bat, he hit a massive three-run home run after it seemed as though the Dodgers were on the comeback trail. Just one inning later, he hit a two-run single to notch five RBIs on the day.
Roberto Perez seems to be finding his groove at the plate this week and he continued that with a broken bat bloop RBI single to give the Indians their 11th run of the game.
Erik Gonzalez struggled mightily in the field Thursday night. Although he wasn’t charged with a single error, the second baseman had two key defensive lapses that proved costly in the team’s loss. On Thursday, he followed up with his first major league home run and an impressive play in the field as well.
For those that are keeping track, the Indians are now 1-0 with Lil’ Jose as the team’s unofficial mascot.