The Cleveland Indians dominated their division rivals and showed the Twins why they sit 10 games ahead in the division, as they hang 10 runs on Minnesota.
It was nothing but big hits and strikeouts for the Cleveland Indians tonight. They sent a message to the Minnesota Twins that this is the Indians’ division and no one is taking it from them….at least for the remainder of this season.
The Twins had played very well at Progressive Field this year, but they showed tonight that they’re all but done in the American League playoff chase. As for the Indians, they showed no mercy on Twins. They laughed in the face of their three-game win streak and sent them away empty-handed tonight.
The Indians pitching staff shutout the Minnesota lineup, putting on a strikeout clinic thanks to Trevor Bauer. and that takes us to our first takeaway.
Trevor Bauer is one of the best pitchers in the AL
The Cleveland Indians pitching staff is starting to form into the three-headed monster that teams will want to avoid in the playoffs. Trevor Bauer is one of the scariest heads on that monster. He continued building on his career-year tonight by netting his 200th strikeout.
Bauer is just the 11th Indians pitcher in history to reach that number. On top of that he effectively struck out every batter in the Twins starting lineup tonight. His night ended with 11 strikeouts and just three hits.
Bauer still posts a remarkable HR/9 innings and his shutout tonight. Tonight also marked his 10th double-digit strikeout game of the season.
Slumping stars break out
The Indians offense wasn’t the most productive unit last week. Yonder Alonso went 4 consecutive games without a hit. Brandon Guyer had a five game hitless streak. Jason Kipnis was just 2-17 before today. So; of course, today they all hit homers.
For Guyer, it was his first home run of the season against a right-handed pitcher. Jason Kipnis had himself quite a day defensively as well; starting and ending the game with two great defensive plays.
Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t slumping, but it just felt like he was due for a big hit. Edwin joined the big-hit party with four RBIs in today’s game. Production from the middle and back-end bats is key for the Tribe, especially as the pennant chase moves along.
The Twins are no-longer a problem
It doesn’t feel that long ago since the Minnesota Twins were giving the Indians nightmares. Now it’s kind of funny to think they gave the Indians problems. The Twins have lost four of their last five games against the Indians, and the most recent win was a walk-off in the ninth.
The Indians have now outscored the Twins 22-7 in their last four meetings and the Twins have sold some of their best players away. Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier had beaten up on the Indians in recent years, but neither even play in the AL anymore.
With the Indians division lead up to 10 games and few matchups remaining between these teams, the Twins hopes may have been snuffed out. As for the Indians, their fun is just beginning.