Oh how fun walk-offs can be! The Cleveland Indians have taken the series from the Minnesota Twins with their second consecutive walk-off win!
It was clear we would be in for another wild finish once Corey Kluber allowed a three-run homer to tie the game up. But the Cleveland Indians persisted and made it clear they would not allow the Twins to get away with a cheap win. Michael Brantley hit a ground ball into right field that scored the winning run from third base.
The Tribe knocked the metaphorical monkey off their back as they have evened up the season series with the Twins at 8-8. Much of the game today felt like a fairly easy win for the Indians. They went up 4-0 early and they only allowed one run through the first five innings.
The momentum changed the moment Edwin struck the Indians out of the fourth inning. The Twins tied things up with a three-run bomb from Jorge Polanco and thinks looked bleak, but the Indians would not be denied. With the win the Indians now hold an 11 game lead in the division. Here are the takeaways.
One hit changed Kluber’s day
It looked like Corey Kluber was about to pitch himself another gem. Despite a high pitch count, Kluber was not breaking. In the fifth inning he did allow a run to score on a fly-out to centerfield, but it still felt like Kluber was in control of this game.
When the sixth came around Kluber started to show signs of fatigue. He did still end up pitching seven innings, but one bad pitch gave Polanco his first homer of 2018. What a seismic run it was for Jorge as he hit a tying home-run of the defending Cy Young award winner.
Kluber’s day would end after he pitched a beauty of an inning in the seventh despite his pitch count being in the 100’s. But sadly the homer he allowed cost him the win on his record today.
This bullpen has turned things around
It feels good to be able to talk about the Tribe bullpen having dominant outings again. Today, that’s exactly what happened. The Indians sent out their top guns to make sure Kluber’s start wouldn’t be all for naught.
Brad Hand went out to pitch the eighth inning and he was effective as one could ask. Hand struck out two in the complete inning without allowing a hit or a run. Hand kept things clean in his inning and he would be followed upon by the fan-favorite.
Andrew Miller would come out for the ninth inning and earn himself the win. He looked absolutely dominant by keeping the batters off-balance with his fastball and slider combination. HE finished things off by striking out the final Twins batter and leaving the inning with a vengeance.
The offense is coming though in big moments
This Indians offense is absolutely dominant when it wants to be, but sometimes it’s fast asleep. The Yin-Yang game that the offense likes to play is a bit of a concern and will be something to keep an eye on come playoff time.
Despite that, the offense wasn’t on a tear for much of this series aside from game one of this series. The difference has been how the Indians offense can come in clutch during big moments. It’s the type of thing that makes dream seasons happen, and the duo at the top of the Tribe lineup has made it happen in the last two games.
It would be a complete remiss if I went without saying how Greg Allen contributed to this game from the ninth batting spot. Allen hit a single to leadoff the ninth and quickly made a beautiful steal to snag second base. After Francisco Lindor batted him over, Michael Brantley finished things off with a classic, walk-off sealing, base hit.
The Indians have a knack for being the MLB’s cardiac kids in recent years. Now it looks like those same, fun-loving Indians are back in 2018.