Despite not being a poet or visionary such as Jon, Mike Hattery included his immediate thoughts and the thoughts of others in a stream of consciousness throughout Tuesday night’s Indians game.
6:09 Andre Knott highlights Austin Jackson’s recent offensive performance. An interesting part of Monday afternoon’s win, the Indians pulled Jackson from right field in the ninth inning for Daniel Robertson as a defensive replacement. A bleak signal considering Jackson is partially on this roster for his defensive capacity which the Indians seem to distrust.
6:12 A first pitch ball from Bauer is a fitting start.
6:14 Bauer has struck out consecutive hitters with exemplary fastball movement running from off the plate to over the outside corner to right-handed hitters. Mastery of the strike zone short lived as he hangs a cutter to Jed Lowrie for a two-out double.
6:18 Bauer paints another fastball at the knees on the outside corner to strike out the side.
6:22 Kipnis hits a hard one hopper to the shortstop for an out. Of note, Kipnis has seen one of the highest increases in shift percentage from 18% in 2016 to 35.6% in 2017.
6:24 Brantley ropes a two out single through the hole. Strangely, it feels as if Brantley has been under-shifted of late.
That is a pretty strong cluster on the right hand side of the infield.
6:36 Runners on first and third with no outs. Bauer induced a soft ground ball halfway up the first base line. Kipnis was slow to cover and struggled with the footwork but the review said the Indians got the out. 1-0 Oakland.
6:40 Zimmer made a rock solid play running back towards the wall in dead center. Zimmer is the first guy of Naquin, Almonte, Jackson, or Chisenhall to actually look like a center fielder this year.
6:46 Ramirez comes to the plate with no outs and a runner on but the question remains why is a hitter this good stuck in the sixth hole.
6:50 11 pitches later Ramirez grounds into a double play and my pride is bruised.
6:56 Barely still relevant Rajai Davis is thrown out easily on a two-hop chop to Francisco Lindor. A sign of the current decline. Indians did a phenomenal job sapping all value out of Davis-Napoli and letting them walk before there inevitable collapses.
7:08 Indians continue to put up mediocre plate appearances against this Gray fellow. Time for a musical interlude.
I choose this song for two reasons. First, Gregory Alan Isakov is fantastic. Second, the Indians need to eat Gray the second time through the order.
7:13 In the blink of an eye the Indians are down 2-0 with runners on second and third with no outs. Healy’s RBI double was partially the result of a bad route by right fielder Daniel Robertson. Of course, Robertson then redeemed himself with a diving play. Baseball.
7:15 The anti-Bauer crowd is climbing out of the depths for a public shaming. Where is Jeremy Sowers they ask, does Scott Lewis still pitch? Francisco Lindor dances around a one-hop smash by Adam Rosales but Brantley covers by gunning Healy at the plate. 3-0 Athletics.
Friend Adam Burke emphasizes that Brantley’s defense is really just arm only.
@snarkyhatman Brantley's gonna have a plus arm at 1B next year, eh?
— Adam Burke (@SkatingTripods) May 30, 2017
7:25 Carlos Santana bunts to beat the shift and bring the tying run to the plate in the 4th inning. Nice to see this approach and execution from Santana.
7:29 Encarnacion singles to left for an RBI cutting the lead to 3-1 with one out, 1st and 2nd. Strong plate appearances completed with a hard line drive.
7:32 Jose Ramirez did the thing that he does with runners in scoring position, make hard contact; in this case a double down the right field line. 3-2 Oakland. Ramirez has exceptional bat control, seems to command the head better than almost any in baseball.
7:34 Bradley Zimmer kept the party rolling two RBI double and he may never return to the friendly confines of Huntington Park in Columbus.
Indians brand expert Nate Crowe on the young stallion:
ZIMMER NEEDS A HASHTAGNICKNAMETHATPEOPLEWILLCOMPLAINABOUT.
— ht. (@HipsterTito) May 30, 2017
In Lindor, Ramirez, Zimmer, and- dare I say- Francisco Mejia, the Indians have the next big league corps ready to burst. So far, players 24 and younger are responsible for 4.3 of the Indians 6.0 WAR for position players.
7:38 Shameless self promotion, I wrote about the Indians likelihood of breakout with RISP.
7:46 Bauer blows a 97 mile per hour running four-seamer past Jed Lowrie for strikeout No. 8. Bauer has pitched better than the three runs against would suggest.
7:48 Kipnis, Jason, hits dingerz. It turns out throwing fastball middle does not work against good big league hitters.
Musical interlude: MIA’s Paper Planes helps us celebrate Kip’s power.
The musical interludes are inserted because I spend the entire game with the announcing crew off listening to music, a wholly satisfying experience.
7:53 Brantley gets it done again with RISP and then steals a base of his own. Brantley has stolen a sneaky six bags already setting himself up for a 10-15 steal season.
8:00 7-3. More interesting, Ramirez continues to barrel the ball to all fields. Watching him hit is special, soak it up other Mike, soak it up.1.
10 Ks for Bauer. "The stuff" is there again tonight
— T.D. Dery (@TD1TribeKU) May 31, 2017
8:11 11 strikeouts from the alchemist, yet Bauer slowly walks off the mound with the complexion of a hard on his luck assassin.
Bauer’s pitch usage was tailored towards this lineup leaning heavily on the curveball:
Bauer has 11 K in 6 IP. Has thrown 40 curves (41.2% of pitches so far tonight). Came in entering 21.6% curves on the season.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 31, 2017
8:24 This is one of the three starts every year where Trevor Bauer’s transcendent talent taunts Indians fans with his filth. 14 strikeouts. Best performance of any Indians pitcher to this point in 2017.
Trevor Bauer had a career-high 14 strikeouts tonight. Here are all 14: pic.twitter.com/LWptzRJrAW
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) May 31, 2017
Bauer induced 10 swings and misses on the 46 curveballs he threw Tuesday night.
The below chart shows all the swings and misses Bauer induced, 15 in total.
8:47 A few Shaw struggles, a Ramirez booted grounder and quirky contact make it 7-4 through the top of the eighth.
8:51 Third hit for Ramirez. Still perfect in my eyes.
8:54 Zimmer pummeled a high changeup for a dinger to give the Indians a 9-4 lead. The pitch he hit out would probably have been above Jose Ramirez’s head.
9:09 Ballgame. Five strikeouts by the relievers brings the Tribe total to 19 for the game.
With the victory for the Cleveland Indians (27-23) coupled with the Minnesota Twins (26-22) loss to the Houston Astros, the Tribe moves back into a tie for first place in the AL Central Division.