Pitcher Review: Indians Dismantle Hughes, Twins

Jose Ramirez vs Blue Jays

The Cleveland Indians entered Tuesday’s nights game with a thoroughly advantageous matchup, the game ended with them having taken advantage of the matchup to the tune of a 11-4 final score. Baseball is strange but the Indians taking care of a bad team – a team they should beat – is always fulfilling to watch. On Tuesday afternoon, while criticizing Hughes overall competency, I picked two players to whose advantageous matchups would impact the outcome of the game: Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley.

With Hughes’ mediocre fastball-cut-fastball primary combo, Brantley and Ramirez had the most prior success to bank on for output Tuesday night. How did it turn out?

Brantley’s hot zone:

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

First plate appearance: With a runner on first and one out, Brantley improved the Indians win expectancy by 8.2 percent with a double to the alley in right-center. The pitch? Cut-fastball middle-in.

Second plate appearance: Brantley gets another fastball up, takes advantage with a line drive single to center field.

He only had two plate appearances against Hughes.

The second star of the night, Jose Ramirez.

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

First plate appearance: Jose Ramirez hit a long fly ball which should have been an out but was converted into a run as Max Kepler dropped the ball in right center. The pitch? Fastball up.

Second plate appearance: After the Twins had pulled themselves back into the game at 3-2, Ramirez came to the plate with a runner on in the third inning. He got a cut-fastball down and in, one of Ramirez’s quadrants, and he parked it in the seats for a two-run home run. This swung the Indians win probability by 18 percent.

Other takeaways:

  1. Josh Tomlin went six innings and allowed three runs against a mediocre Minnesota Twins lineup coming off two abysmal starts. While this start from Tomlin was satisfactory, it does little to hide the reality that there remains significant cause for concern for the Indians fourth starter.
  2. Thankfully, Triple-A starter Mike Clevinger has looked outstanding early, displaying the control from his breakout 2015 season. Indeed, even Ryan Merritt has looked solid in the early going in Columbus in case the Indians decide to take another direction and add a left-handed pitcher to the rotation for a bit.
  3. Ramirez might be making the Jose Altuve leap but we will have a new WFNY addition break that down for you soon.
  4. Roberto Perez was 1-for-4 with three high-quality plate appearances. Hopefully Francona goes with a more equitable balance between Perez and Gomes over the next month.
  5. Abraham Almonte is averaging 4.4+ pitches per plate appearance and had another really solid night offensively with a walk and a hit. The Indians outfield is once again outperforming pre-season expectations.
  6. Nice to see Edwin Encarnacion punish a two-run home run into the seats late in the Indians route, hopefully that gets him going offensively.