On a Tuesday night in May, the Cleveland Indians made a victory in Cincinnati as difficult as they possibly could but there remain a lot of performances to be excited about. The Indians defeated the Reds 8-7 in a contest which had numerous twists and turns as well as extreme performances.
Encarnacion hit two home runs a mammoth shot to the second deck in left field and a miss hit baseball that snuck over the left field wall. This is the Encarnacion the Indians thought they signed as he displayed phenomenal power.
On the two run shot to the second deck, Encarnacion got a pitch on the inner half and flashed the elite bat speed that has made him one of the best offensive performers in baseball.
The second home run was just a touch off the end of the bat but Encarnacion has the sort of strength and bat speed to flip this out in the favorable confines of Great American Ballpark.
The Daniel Robertson Game
A fringe major leaguer and utility man extraordinaire, Daniel Robertson put forth an outstanding performance in the Indians win. Robertson reached base twice with a triple and a walk but more importantly he impacted the game on defense.
Robertson made a diving play in center field going towards the fence in right center field that eliminated a potential triple. Then in the eight inning with Andrew Miller looking human for but a moment, Robertson hosed a runner at the plate with two outs to maintain the Indians narrow margin of victory.
Yan Gomes is elite again?
Gomes had yet another phenomenal night this time flashing his elite defensive skills and run production. With Reds speedster Billy Hamilton attempting to steal second in an inning that looked like trouble for Carlos Carrasco and the Indians, Gomes made an elite throw to catch the speedy Hamilton dead in his tracks.
Gomes has caught 11 of 20 base-stealers for a caught stealing percentage of 55 percent. 55 percent!
Before first pitch I noted that Gomes was a favorable matchup against Reds starter Amir Garrett because Garret throws the fastball at the bottom of the zone a ton. Gomes having a nitro zone at the bottom of the strike zone.
— Mike Hattery (@snarkyhatman) May 23, 2017
Gomes got a pitch in his this strike zone sector and hit it over the wall in center.
The Bryan Shaw Meltdown
When Bryan Shaw entered the game the Indians had a 7-3 lead and a win expectancy of 88 percent, just a few pitches later Shaw left with a tie ballgame and a team win expectancy of 45 percent.
Shaw’s command was horrendous and he left multiple balls in the middle of the plate that were punished. Perhaps it was rust from a three day respite. Perhaps it was flukey. Most likely it was a reflection of the notion that Shaw is and always has been a durable league average reliever who experiences nights like these.
The Indians final star of the night is Reds manager Bryan Price who decided to pitch to Robertson with two outs and runners on second and third in a tie game in the 8th inning with Andrew Miller on deck. If Price immediately walks Robertson he forces Francona into choosing between his best reliever for the eighth or someone who can drive the run home. Yet, Price had them pitch to Robertson with the outcome being a run scored, an Indians lead, and a then humorous at bat from Andrew Miller.