Reaction: Chen Chased Early As Cleveland Indians Trounce Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians took advantage of impressive, offensive displays from their big bats to overcome an early deficit on Friday in Arlington.  Bruce Chen made his second start for the Cleveland Indians, and this one was not much better than his first.  Chen exited after 2.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits.  Ryan Webb relieved Chen and was rewarded for his two stellar innings out of the pen with his first win.

Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley continued their torrid hot streaks at the plate.  Kipnis went 4-5 out of the leadoff spot, scoring three of the Tribe’s eight runs.  Brantley was a perfect 3-3 with two walks, scoring twice and knocking in two.  Swisher also got into the action, going 3-4 with a walk and plating three.

The Good

  • The bullpen pitched a stellar game, and it was a performance reminiscent of the Tribe pen of the last couple years. After Chen’s short outing, Webb, Zach McAllister, Scott Atchinson, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen all pitched in to hurl 6.2 scoreless innings.  The five allowed a combined two hits and one walk while striking out eight.  A game like this can do a lot to rebuild some of the lost trust in the bullpen, and it is important to continue to build off of this. 
  • Besides swinging a hot stick, Brantley picked up his sixth steal of the season on Friday.
  • Reserve catcher Brett Hayes hit his third homerun of the campaign.
  • Ryan Raburn made one of the best plays of the young season, crashing into the wall while making an over the shoulder catch. The play, which occurred in the second with two on and no out, preserved the double play and prevented the Rangers from opening up their 3-2 lead.

The Bad

  • While the Indians had 12 hits on the night, 10 of those came from three guys. Besides Brantley, Kipnis, and Swisher, only Zach Walters and Hayes had hits.
  • The first bullet already implied that Jose Ramirez again had an abysmal day at the plate, going 0-3 with a run. His season average now stands at .172.
  • Walters, making a start at third base and eventually playing left field, had two errors on the night.
  • Chen continues to occupy a spot in the rotation. Holding a spot generally reserved for an innings eater, the veteran has missed his mark.  After tonight’s performance, the almost 38-year-old has an ERA of 12.79 in two starts totaling 6.1 innings.  He has given up 10 hits, one walk, and struck out four.

What’s Next

  • Raburn left the game for precautionary reasons following his catch. He did not immediately leave the game, and the injury did not appear serious.  Still, Raburn plays a vital role as the top outfield option off the bench, and it will be interesting to note if his knee contusion will cost him any playing time.
  • On Saturday, the Rangers and Indians square off again, with Danny Salazar taking on Colby Lewis. Lewis has been one of the Rangers bright spots this season, coming into the game with a 3-2 record and a 2.40 ERA.  The game will be at 8:05 PM ET.
  • TJ House and Yan Gomes each appeared for the Lake County Captains in rehab starts on Friday. House pitched 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five. Gomes played catcher and batted second, going 2-2 with a run.

Next: Judging the Cleveland Indians New Look Lineup

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