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#TribeTopThree 5/15: Bullpen, Offense Help to Survive and Advance

Cleveland – 8
Tampa Bay – 7

Short and Sweet:

In what was billed as a pitchers duel, the Indians, a day after finally awakening from the offensive slumber, the punished former pitching farmhand Chris Archer early striking for five runs in the first inning, largely in part to some help from Archer. He walked three and threw a wild pitch with new cleanup hitter Carlos Santana driving in a run and new number five hitter Edwin Encarnacion legging out a fielders choice to let another run score. Lonnie Chisenhall dropped the big blow on Archer with a three run homer with two outs, his second in as many days.

Jason Kipnis scored on a throwing error as Michael Brantley stole second and in the third inning Yan Gomes doubled in a run. Francisco Lindor took a break from bunting to add a solo HR of insurance in the bottom of the eighth innings.

It wasn’t all roses for the Indians even though their offense brought the lumber early. Starter Carlos Carrasco allowed single runs in the first three innings and then left with two outs in the fourth inning with what ended up being a left pectoral strain and allowed five runs total.

The bullpen rode in on a horse again to save the day as Nick Goody, Boone Logan, Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen slammed the door with 5 1/3 innings with Miller allowing his first run of the season bringing his ERA to a bloated 0.48 and Allen allowing his third run and first HR of the year before closing out the win.

Tribe Top Three:

1. Lonnie Chisenhall 3-run HR (63% of Twitter vote): Chisenhall’s two out, three run blast in the first inning put the Indians ahead 5-0 and raised the Indians win expectancy to 84.1 at the moment.

2. Bullpen 5 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts (25%): Miller finally allowed a run even though it was due to an infield single and Jose Ramirez opting to throw to second on another grounder and Allen allowed a solo HR in the ninth that wound up being meaningless thanks to Lindor’s insurance HR. Goody relieved Carrasco and allowed his runs to score but pitched a full inning allowing three hits and a walk while Shaw and Logan combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

3. Lindor’s solo homer in the 8th inning (8%): Lindor took a break from attempting to bunt to blast his ninth homer of the year that wound up being the difference in the game after Peter Bourgos’s solo homer off of Allen in the ninth.

Honorable Mention:

4. Gomes’ RBI double: Gomes’ third inning double ran the Indians win expectancy up to 88.1% with a 7-3 lead.

Special mention: Jason Kipnis 1-3, 2BB, SB/Carlos Santana 2-4, RBI: Kipnis continued to be a catalyst even though he didn’t score a run, added 0.92 WPA and Santana added 0.94)

Tribe Time Tomorrow:

The Indians will hope to get some length out of Danny Salazar (2-3, 5.20 ERA) as he averages just around five innings per start and the Rays send Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 2.61) to the mound at 6:10.