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#TribeTopThree: 7/17 Tribe Makes Giants Look Small

Cleveland – 5
San Francisco – 3

Short and Sweet:

With Cleveland’s first 4-game losing streak out of the way, they headed across the bay to face the San Francisco Giants for game one of a 3-game series. At the start it looked like the bats were in serious need of some hats as they were dismal at best on this cool west coast evening. Aside from a solo shot off the bat of catcher Yan Gomes to lead off the third, things wouldn’t start to heat up at the plate until the fifth inning.

San Fran’s bats however had shown up than left the stadium at the mercy of Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin; who is coming off of one of his best starts of the season just before the All Star Break. Through his first two innings, Tomlin retired the side in order. In the third, Joe Panik smacked a single through with the first Giants base hit, and would end up coming home on a Hernandez double. Panik was called out at home, but the Giants challenged the call which ended up being overturned to tie the game. By the end of the fourth, they would have a 3-1 lead over Cleveland.

Tomlin kept his composure through his start, averaging 10 pitches an inning through seven, compared to his counterpart Matt Moore who started for San Francisco. Moore’s breaking point was in the fifth inning, allowing rookie Bradley Zimmer to reach second on a throwing error to 1B. Due to this play, Giovanny Urshela scored, and the inning would continue leading to Cleveland tying up the ballgame at three runs a piece. In the sixth the Tribe got the go-ahead run in from Brandon Guyer who laid down a sac bunt, scoring Jose Ramirez and ended up reaching second safely on a throwing error by Giants 1B Jae-Gyun Hwang.

Tomlin taken out after 7.1 IP with 5Ks, 3 runs on 6 hits, 0 walks and averaged 10 pitches per inning (79) with 52 of those pitches being thrown for strikes. Relief arm Andrew Miller took the mound in his place with one out in the eighth and struck out the side to end the eighth. Another change for the Tribe, OF Abraham Almonte takes over in LF in place of Guyer.

In the top of the ninth, Cleveland tacked on an insurance run off Lindor’s bat, scoring Gio on a 2-out single putting the Indians up 5-3. This would end up being just enough, as closer Cody Allen came out to shut down the side in 12 pitches, and caught the game-ending liner from Buster Posey for the W.

Tribe Top Three:

1. Josh Tomlin – SP – 46% of Twitter vote
Tomlin as of late has been as consistent as the top two starters in the Indians rotation. He might not throw heat, but he’s been able to work with his pin point command, while keeping the long ball from creeping back up into the box score. He’s progressively gotten better, going deeper in games (7.1 IP in tonight’s, 7.0 in his last, with a combination 11 Ks, and just 5 runs given up, none via the home run ball) while keeping his pitch out impressively compact.

2. Gio Urshela – 3B – 36% of Twitter vote
Gio came up big for the Tribe tonight not just at the plate, but on the field as well, turning a flawless double play in the third. The young 3B went 2 for 4 with two runs. Having someone like Gio as a go-to whenever needed is a bigger asset to Cleveland than I think most people realize. Add to the mix the brotherly chemistry between him and Lindor and you have a formula that only knows how to work.

3. Francisco Lindor – SS – 13% of Twitter vote
Of his last nine hits, Lindor has seven runs and three RBI. Two of his hits tonight came with 2-outs in the inning. Through his last two games it looks like he’s starting to pull back a bit on that “home run happy” approach at the plate, and is falling into a similar groove we’ve seen him hit successfully with in the past.

Honorable Mention:

Gomes put the tribe on the board with a third inning lead off home run. His miscue was behind the plate tagging out Panik, just missing his foot as it slid into home before the tag was made.

Tribe Time Tomorrow:

Tomorrow night, it’s the last late night first pitch for a while! Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger will take the mound opposite Giants southpaw Ty Blach at 10:15 EST for game two at AT&T Park!