With only a handful of nationally televised games in the first half of the season (two of them this past weekend), the world hasn’t been able to see the Cleveland Indians play much since the 2016 World Series. On the MLB’s biggest stage of the summer, however, the Cleveland players in the All-Star Game shined bright and allowed the everyone to get a sneak peak of a team many expect to content again in October.
Latin American-born members of the Baseball Hall of Fame threw out the first pitch. That led to a special moment that allowed former Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar to throw his first pitch to Francisco Lindor. It was Roberto Alomar who served as Lindor’s idol growing up, and the reason why the Tribe shortstop wears No. 12.
The best Indians hitter has been Jose Ramirez, the lone starter for the club. Against one of the best pitchers in baseball, the third baseman wasted no time against Max Scherzer, hitting a single on the first pitch he saw. Then, on the second pitch he saw in the fourth inning, he hit another single to right field and followed it up with a stolen base to finish off his evening.
Unfortunately, with three third baseman on the AL roster and Brad Mills wanting to play everyone (who was healthy) on the roster, Ramirez only played three innings, but he made the most of his playing time.
In what has been a remarkable story this season, the fact that Michael Brantley is even an All-Star is incredible to think about. In his second at bat of the night, Dr. Smooth hit a single to right field to continue his bid as a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
Lindor was 0-for-2 at the plate with two strikeouts, but his bright smile was what mattered most. In this day and age, it’s sometimes hard to realize how much professional athletes enjoy playing the sport they love, but Lindor allows the world to see his emotions every time he steps on the field. He even added a little gem defensively in the 10th inning to help secure the win for the American League.
Andrew Miller finished off the game with not only a save, but by striking out Los Angeles Dodgers young phenom Cody Bellinger, making it look easy against one of the best young hitters in the game.
Due to starting Sunday night’s game against the Tigers, Corey Kluber was ruled out of the All-Star Game. The world will just have to wait until the postseason, hopefully, to see Kluber pitch on as big of a national stage.