The Cleveland Indians rode a strong start from Carlos Carrasco and a solid offensive night to a victory on Tuesday. Carlos Santana started the night off with a home run, and the Tribe stayed ahead the whole night. The 4-3 win over the defending AL West champion Texas Rangers has given the Indians a 2-0 start their season with Cody Allen striking out the side in the ninth of both contests.
On Tuesday afternoon, I published a pitcher preview article detailing the Indians matchup with Ranger southpaw Martin Perez. The purpose was to highlight a handful of pitcher versus hitter matchups, which should be favorable (in this case) for the Indians offense. There was one over-arching premise: The Indians must lay off changeups in the low-outside quadrant.
Based on Perez peppering sinkers to the low-outside quadrant to right-handed hitters, I selected two Indians who could punish the pitch: Brandon Guyer and Edwin Encarnacion.
First, a review of Encarnacion’s evening.
PA No. 1: Perez won the first plate appearance battle against Encarnacion by not using his sinker on the lower half. Instead relying on fastball and changeup combinations at the top of the zone.
PA No. 2: Perez dodges the nitro zone and walks Encarnacion.
PA No. 3: Perez induces a pop-up from Encarnacion on a slider.
Brandon Guyer’s chart against the same offering.
PA No. 1: Guyer wins by barreling a sinker on the outer third.
PA No. 2: Guyer crushes sinker outer third to the track in center field for a long out.
PA No. 3: Guyer hits hard ground ball on a low sinker, ruled E-5.
Finally, Perez leverages his slider inside to right-handed hitters often burying towards the back foot. The hitters job is to sit and see if they can punish a flat one. Austin Jackson entered the game having had success doing so throughout his career.
PA No. 1: Single, hammered a fastball down the middle for a base hit and an RBI.
PA No. 2: Jackson lined out on a sinker over the middle of the plate.