After a trio of inexcusable losses to the Twins in Minnesota, the Cleveland Indians came home and rattled off two straight wins against the Brewers.
After a weekend to forget in Minnesota which saw them drop three of four games, the Cleveland Indians needed to get back in the win column.
But with the best team in the National League coming in for two games, things did not look promising for the Tribe.
However, rather than spiraling, they rode some hot pitching and a couple of big innings to sweep the Milwaukee Brewers in a short two-game series.
Their win Wednesday came on the arm of Carlos Carrasco, who got some help with a big fifth inning that saw the Indians put up all three of their runs.
Carrasco bounces back
After starting the year looking strong as ever, Carlos Carrasco has stumbled recently. In his last two outings he gave up a combined 11 runs in just 9.2 innings of work.
His ERA started to balloon and went up over the four runs mark. But on Wednesday, Carrasco was dealing. He went seven innings, giving up just one run and one walk while fanning 10. Carrasco got a swing and a miss out of a batter 20 times in the win.
This kind of outing is what Carrasco is capable of. It’s a good sign to see him come back around and have a good outing, giving more reason to believe that his last few starts were just a fluke and not the new normal.
Run Rajai run
The Indians outfield has been a bit of a mess all year. Lots of good options, but also a lot of injuries and little consistency.
With Michael Brantley being the only regular face out there, the Indians outfield has also seen the likes of Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Rajai Davis, Greg Allen, Melky Cabrera and Brandon Guyer.
That’s six different players vying for just two spots and they know it. After a stretch of games where Melky Cabrera broke out a little, Greg Allen then had a few solid games of his own and now it seems like it’s Rajai’s turn.
Rajai was phenomenal Wednesday. He went 2-3 with a couple of singles as well as a walk, reaching base for a total of three times and scored a run as well.
But the exclamation point of Davis’ day was his showing on the base paths. He stole second base every time he got on base, a perfect three for three.
It’s the main factor that sets Davis apart from the other options in the Indians outfield. He’s their biggest base running threat, and if he can keep hitting like he did Wednesday, he’ll be one of the best options of the bunch.
But at the very least, the game showed that even at 37, Davis has still got it, and he should stay on the roster as a pinch runner at the very least.
Should have been more
After a couple of highlights for the Indians in this game, here’s something that was a glaring negative, despite the win.
The Indians left 10 runners on base. That’s just over three more runners left on base than their average.
These types of games happen. Runners add up and that’s not always so bad if the team continues to score.
But most of these runners left on were accumulated with the bases loaded. In the fifth the Indians had a big inning. They got all three of their runs that inning, but they should have gotten more.
And they both struck out.
That’s just unacceptable. Those are the big situations where you want to see something out of your guys because it only gets bigger in October.
Yes, they had already scored three runs, yes, they still won the game, and yes, it’s still early June. But I’m not saying Kipnis needed to hit a grand slam or Gomes needed to double, but at least one of them needed to put the ball in play somehow.
That’s the exact situation, especially with one out, where you need to have your batter put the ball in play, force the defense to make the right play and give your team a shot, because two strikeouts in a row to end the inning isn’t moving anyone around the base paths.