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Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from the blowout win over the Cubs

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CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22: Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians is greeted at the stairs of the dugout after scoring against the Chicago Cubs on an three-run RBI double hit by Yonder Alonso #17 (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on May 22, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22: Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians is greeted at the stairs of the dugout after scoring against the Chicago Cubs on an three-run RBI double hit by Yonder Alonso #17 (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on May 22, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians imposed their will in a commanding win over the Chicago Cubs in their return to Wrigley Field.

For what feels like the first time in a long time, Cleveland Indians fans were able to watch a baseball game with little-to-no stress. The Indians dominated the Chicago Cubs with a 10-1 victory in the first of a two game set in Chicago. Things started off pretty concerning for the Indians as both teams opened up with runners on the corners and Trevor Bauer tossed 30 pitches in the first two innings. But thankfully Tyler Chatwood‘s command issues allowed the Indians to run up the score on the Cubs.

The Indians needed this win badly after dropping two of three against the Astros and losing the prior series against the Tigers. While inter-league wins aren’t as valuable as division wins, it always feels good to beat up on the Cubs.

Trevor Bauer: Great pitcher, terrible hitter

Trevor Bauer didn’t have his greatest outing of the year, but he continues to get the job done for the Tribe. The Indians starter worked six innings allowing seven hits and walking two. But none of it fazed Bauer as he didn’t allow a run. The Cubs couldn’t hit in the clutch as they have struggled to do so all year; one of the few weaknesses this team has.

For as great as Trevor pitches, let’s hope we never have to see him hit again. Bauer went 0-3, reaching on a fielder’s choice in tonight’s outing. He did eventually score after reaching on that fielder’s choice and may be considered to be a pinch-runner in future games (please appreciate my sarcasm). That being said; in two of his at-bats, Bauer was the last out of the inning so as not to kill any early inning momentum.

If a pitcher doesn’t have command, let him beat himself

Tyler Chatwood was downright terrible tonight. The righty only made it 2.2 innings before getting yanked with known power-hitter and the aforementioned Trevor Bauer coming to the plate. In his 2.2 innings, Chatwood walked six and only struck out one. That one strikeout came off of Francisco Lindor in the first AB of the game.

The Indians adapted to Chatwood early. After realizing he had terrible command tonight, they took full advantage of it. This is a pretty positive thing to see. The Indians never got greedy; they had six two-out RBIs and actually hit with RISP.

The Indians got hits from guys who have struggled

I mentioned that the Indians took advantage of a bad outing from the Cubs staff. But there are two performances worth mentioning. The first is Yonder Alonso‘s. He’s struggled mightily in recent games with a sub .200 batting average in the month of May. Tonight, he went 3-4 with two runs scored. Those three hits equated to three RBIs along with a walk. This is the kind of outing that allows Indians fans to put the loss of Carlos Santana in the back of their heads.

The other outing is that of Jason Kipnis. While it wasn’t as impressive as Alonso’s it was a step in the right direction. Kip went 1-4 against his childhood favorite team while knocking in two RBIs and walking once. It’s not a breakout performance by his standards, but it’s a step in the right direction for the struggling slugger.

Next: Swing and a Tribe: Sadness or Madness?

The Cleveland Indians will take on the Cubs again tomorrow night at 8 PM on MLB Network. Any time these teams play nowadays, you can expect it to be on national TV. They Tribe will have a chance to take the season series in Wrigley on national TV for our enjoyment.

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