Cleveland – 3
Kansas City – 2
Short and Sweet:
-It felt like the tides might be changing just slightly for the Tribe, as they trailed the Royals for the longest time in a game during their 21 game win streak, but trust me, the Indians weren’t done streaking tonight.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin made his fourth start against KC, and out of the gate shut down the side in a 1-2-3 nine-pitch first inning. He ended up going 5.2 innings, gave up two earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.
The Royals poked through first, in the second inning, with Mike Moustakas grounding out into a double play, while simultaneously scoring Eric Hosmer from third. In the sixth they would put another run on the board, with Hosmer scoring Melky Cabrera on his 29th double of the season. Hosmer reached second safely due to LF Abraham Almonte misjudging the pop fly on a slide, missing the ball it in fair territory, allowing the run to score instead of ending the inning.
The Indians bats came off almost a shell of what they’ve been over the last 21 games, leaving plenty of chances to take back the game and gain the lead, which they hadn’t had throughout tonight’s game. Kansas City’s pitching, RHP Jakob Junis, lefty Mike Minor and Jeremy Butcher, are credited to the lack of Cleveland’s bats, only allowing a single run to score in the bottom of the third off the bat of Lonnie Chisenhall. In the bottom of the eighth, the Tribe left walked the bases loaded with one out before leaving them that way on two back to back pop ups behind home.
On the topic of great pitching, Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller made his return in the seventh inning, looking as on point as ever, after being put back on the DL for a reoccurring knee issue.
Cleveland refused to let go of their streak quietly, tying the game with a Francisco Lindor double, scoring OF Tyler Naquin in the top of the ninth on a two-out, 2-2 two-seam fastball off the left-field wall. The game went into extra after Austin Jackson grounded out to Hosmer.
An inning into extras, the Indians came back with the dominance that laid dormant through most of tonight’s game. Ramirez hit his second double of the night, getting into scoring position for the potential of a walk-off victory. Up to the plate came a frustrated Jay Bruce, who went 0 for 3 walking up, and with a swing of the bat, doubled down the right field line, their first walk-off win of the streak. This now puts Cleveland at 31-5 since trading for Bruce, and puts their win streak at an a new American League record 22 games strong.
Tribe Top Three:
1. Jose Ramirez – 2B – 44%
-As it has become customary, Ramirez had another night worthy of a GOAT. He went 4 for 4 (two doubles and two singles) and a walk in tonight’s game. With his 49th double, hit tonight, Ramirez ties Nap Lajoie for the 12th most doubles in a single season in Indians history – and as I type this he gets his 50th, tying Hale and Speaker for tenth in Indians history.
2. Josh Tomlin – SP – 24%
– Tomlin being productive from the mound is crucial for this team going into the post season, and just has he has done most of the season, Tomlin did not disappoint. He also managed to set a new American League single-season strikeout record at 1,450 K’s, taking place behind the Nationals and the Dodgers for single-seasons in the MLB.
3. Andrew Miller – RP – 22%
-Miller made his way back to the mound for the first time since being put back on the DL for the knee issue that had originally sidelined him mid-season. It looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat, nor did the knee seem to bother him through his one inning of work, striking out one and getting Alex Gordon to ground into an inning ending double play, leaving two on.
– In the bottom of the ninth inning, down to the last strike of the game, Lindor shot a double just out of reach of Gordon’s glove, scoring rookie Erik Gonzalez to tie the game. Later, in the 10th inning, newbie Jay Bruce doubled, bringing home Ramirez for the game-winning, streaking-continuing, Tubby-curse-breaking, walk-off hit.
Tribe Time Tomorrow:
Cleveland will meet the Royals at the corner to try and push the limit of the streak to 23 games. The Indians will put 16-8 Trevor Bauer on the bump to face Royals’ lefty Jason Vagas, for a 7:10 start.