Remember when Mike Trout was slumping and people were worried? Suckers! He’s fine now. He’s fine and the Indians pitchers are very dumb. Seriously, how hard is it to not throw Trout down-and-in? Alas, the Indians did that three times, leading to two homers and one double that would’ve been out of most ballparks. Not that I’m complaining.
Now the narrative around Trout has almost completely forgotten that slump and moved on to the complete other end of the spectrum to ask if Trout might actually be in for the best year of his career. Baseball narratives are so very fickle.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Obviously Mike Trout had a big day, but so did Kole Calhoun, including a homer off of a tough southpaw reliever (attention, Mike Scioscia). Raul Ibanez had another hit, which is kind of disappointing, actually, because he keeps doing just enough to keep his roster spot. Hank Conger, however, seems to be actively trying to give away more playing time to Chris Iannetta.
Starting Pitcher Scores
I’m supposed to feel bad that from a machismo perspective that Matt Shoemaker didn’t get a chance to throw the complete game, but I really don’t care. I care that he was genuinely terrific in this game and that he finally went deep into a ballgame. He’s going to get one more start now that Skaggs had a setback, but if he pitches like this the next time out, there might be more starts after that (though I doubt it since they have a more deeply vested interest in getting Santiago to work out). Josh Tomlin had troubles with more than just Mike Trout.
Ernesto Frieri ended up having to be used due to the rain delay, which seemed like an odd choice since it clearly wasn’t save situation. However, Scioscia clearly was onto something, thinking maybe Ernesto needed a low leverage outing to work through the issues that got him shelled last time out. The Indians bullpen was pretty awful, including former Angels bullpen pinata, Mark Lowe.
The Tribe was actually holding an edge for a little while in this one, but the floodgates opened in the fifth. After that, Cleveland was pretty much toast.
Really, who did you think it was going to be?