Cleveland’s offensive and good pitching performances was the story in Arizona today as the Cleveland Indians defeat the Cincinnati Reds with a 9- 3 Spring Training win. Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer started the game today in his first appearance of Cactus League action showcasing why he should be the number two pitcher in the rotation. Early on in the first inning, Bauer gave up his only run off of an error committed by Lonnie Chisenhall which Jay Bruce scored on the play. Bauer finished the day with three innings pitched, giving up three hits and the aforementioned one run.
The beginning of the nine runs scored started when Cleveland’s offense took charge in the fifth inning. David Murphy scored off of a Michael Martinez‘s ground out. Jose Ramirez then drove home Mike Aviles and Jerry Sands. Finally Yan Gomes hit a two run home run allowing Ramirez to score. All five runs were off of Burke Badenhop.
In the sixth, Bradley Zimmer scored off of a James Roberts sacrifice fly. The run continued with Nellie Rodriguez knocking in home Brett Hayes from a line out to the shortstop. Taylor Murphy then hit a ground rule double knocking in a run by James Ramsey in the seventh and Zimmer tripled driving in home Murphy. Overall, today’s offensive production was the best this spring thus far leading to Cleveland’s win. Hopefully the team can continue to put up good numbers as each game has shown improvements.
1. Recently signed veteran pitcher Bruce Chen pitched two innings with three strikeouts. Both of those innings were one-two-three innings. Due to the depth of the pitching staff, if Chen can pitch like this on a regular basis or just as a solid reliable arm out of the bullpen, the Indians definitely would have gotten a bargain. I would expect him to be one of the main options in a long relief role if he makes the team especially since there are other talented left handed pitchers.
2. Jerry Sands went two for two with a run and a walk. Sands is an interesting fit for this Cleveland team as he is a player who’s plays the outfield, First Base, and as Designated Hitter. He is someone fans may not know much about and has a limited amount of time in the big leagues, so in time progress to something of value. There are plenty of players who already fill the role on the big league’s roster but is a talented player who could showcase his skills better in the minors.
1. Lonnie Chisenhall committed an error in the first inning and went one for three with two strikeouts. Chisenhall cannot have the inconsistencies he has had in the past. It is frustrating to watch him at times as he committed eighteen errors last season! I know it is early but if today’s performance is any sign of something to come, adjustments would need to be made sooner rather than later.
2. Ryan Merritt gave out two runs, both earned and three hits over two innings owning the worst pitching outing of all Cleveland pitchers this afternoon. Prior to Merritt coming into the game, Trevor Bauer, Bruce Chen, and Anthony Swarzak all pitched very well. Merritt did however strikeout three batters and there is still plenty of games to improve and get ready for when the games do count.
Cleveland is back on the field tomorrow when they face the reigning AL Champions Kansas City Royals at 3:05 PM.