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Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from 2-1 loss to the Twins in Puerto Rico

(Photo by Ricardo Arduengo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ricardo Arduengo/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians were on the wrong end of a marathon game Wednesday night. The Minnesota Twins took the final game in Puerto Rico in 16 innings.

After 13 scoreless innings that saw a player reach third base a combined four times between the two teams, just once in the first nine, Edwin Encarnacion finally, mercifully, ended the scoring drought in Puerto Rico.

The Indians DH hit a towering home run off the left field foul pole in the top of the 14th that put the Tribe ahead 1-0, and all but ended the game. Or so it seemed.

Matt Belisle relieved Nick Goody in the bottom of the inning and on his first pitch, Miguel Sano took him deep to knot things up at one, keeping the seemingly endless game on pace to, well, never end.

Finally, after more failed attempts by the Indians to score runners in scoring position, the Twins’ Ryan LaMarre ended it all on a bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the 16th inning.

Carrasco was lights out

Coming into this game, Carlos Carrasco was on a nine-game winning streak, a career high. He had held right-handed batters to a .125 batting average and no walks in his three previous starts this season.

Carrasco was phenomenal in his start Wednesday, continuing his impressive campaign to begin the season. He went seven scoreless frames with seven strikeouts, one walk and only three hits.

He’s improved with each start and now lowered his ERA to a respectable 2.60, joining three other Indians starters in having a sub-3.00 ERA (Kluber, Bauer, Clevinger).

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he was all about the fans before the game.

Where did the bats go?

With a starting rotation and bullpen acting as a deadly one-two punch and firing on all cylinders, this Indians team should be nearly undefeated and running away with the division, correct?


Surprise, surprise, the Indians could not hit again. After what seemed to be a breakout game for the Tribe’s offense in a Tuesday night win that saw them put up six runs, the bats went dormant Wednesday.

Their lone run didn’t come until a 16th inning home run by Encarnacion, something they wouldn’t have ever gotten to if not for the tremendous work by the Indians pitching staff.

While the Tribe did end with 12 hits, six of them came after the ninth inning and the team was 0-12 with runners in scoring position.

The Twins’ starter Jose Berrios was lights out, pitching back in his homeland. He was great on the mound and deserves credit for his performance. But he was gone after seven innings and that’s no excuse for the Indians leaving 12 men stranded on base.

The hitting performances this team has put up this season, quite frankly, have been unacceptable. It’s a joke, really. With the pitching performances they’ve been given so far, this team should be 13-3 and sitting comfortably in first place in the division.

Instead, they have now dropped to 9-7 and are a half game behind the Twins. It’s a long season, 146 games left to be exact. But this level of pitching will not last all season and this team can’t continuously squander chances if they expect to go the distance in October.

Francisco Lindor is awesome

We all saw his resounding two-run homer Tuesday, as it was replayed all over social media. Francisco Lindor knocked one out in left field as his mom and the rest of Puerto Rico went crazy.

It was certainly a sight to behold. Many expected the party to continue for Frankie on Wednesday. This was the furthest thing from the truth.

Truth is, Lindor had a bad game Wednesday. Actually, it was pretty terrible. He was 0-6 in seven at-bats with four strikeouts and an intentional walk. He left three men on base, twice striking out with a chance to score a runner from second.

It was tough to watch, let alone live through that type of performance. No player goes through that type of game, even if their team comes out with the win, with the ability to stay lively and smiling.

No player except for Francisco Lindor.

He never lost his smile, he never hung his head and he never stopped hyping up and cheering on his teammates. He kept his swagger on the field and only intensified it in the dugout.

If baseball teams named captains, Francisco Lindor would be sporting a big C on his chest that stood for something other than “Cleveland.” He keeps guys lively and into the game, even if it is a 16 inning drag to the end.

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No other player shows their love of the game more than Lindor, and even in an unbearably long game that finishes with a Tribe loss, he still gives fans something to smile about.