The Ohio Cup has been awarded to the Cleveland Indians after a 4-3 comeback win propelled them to a series sweep over the Cincinnati Reds.
It was the closest game of the series between the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, but the Tribe found a way to come through with a dramatic win. The Reds scored their three runs in the first inning and the Indians fought and clawed their way back.
The Indians took advantage of Robert Stephenson‘s rough start and scored two of their runs off of him. He was sent packing in the second inning. The other two Indians runs came off the bat of Melky Cabrera and his two-run blast in the sixth inning.
This win gave the Indians their fifth straight win and allows them to stay 13 games ahead of the Twins in the standings. Here are the takeaways from this win.
Give the bullpen a hand (pun intended).
Shane Bieber had a hard time keeping up with the Reds hitters last night but he got the job done for 4.1 innings but right from the start this had the feeling of a game in which the bullpen would be needed. The Indians bullpen did not disappoint. They pitched the remainder of the game without allowing a run.
Oliver Perez and Dan Otero (or more infamously known as OP and OT) closed out the fifth inning safely despite having the bases loaded. After that, Tyler Olsen and Cody Allen each pitched an inning and struck out all six batters.
Finally Brad Hand came on and worked himself into quite a jam. He allowed Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza to reach second and third with no outs. When things seemed to be looking bad, the Indians defense came up huge. Joey Votto hit a ground ball to Yonder Alonso who made a quick throw to catcher Roberto Perez to tag out Hamilton at home. After that, Hand was magnificent with a strikeout of Suarez and earning the save with a flyout.
Seriously, why isn’t Yandy playing more?
The Indians haven’t used Yandy Diaz very much, and it really doesn’t make much sense. They brought him up to serve as a possible DH in the absence of Edwin Encarnacion. He’s batting .500 in the majors this year and he’s been extremely versatile.
Yandy draws a ton of walks and gets on base a ton with an OBP of .524. So why aren’t the Indians putting him in the lineup? Even in yesterday’s outing, he was the last pinch-hitter the Indians used. No, you can’t use a DH in National League games but this would be a time to put a slumping Jason Kipnis on the bench for the time being.
Clearly manager Terry Francona has a plan, but it just felt like the Indians could’ve used his bat tonight in critical situations.
No more National League games.
This is a hot-button topic in baseball, and it probably will be forever; but I’m personally happy the Indians won’t have to play any more games in NL parks. (Unless they make it to the World Series). The Tribe pitchers are in no way effective hitters. Watching pitchers hit just doesn’t have the same appeal as having the DH.
For this series, not having the DH wasn’t too costly as Edwin Encarnacion is unavailable for the Tribe. But watching the Indians make use of their utility players (except for Yandy Diaz apparently) does not make for entertaining baseball. Thankfully the Indians made the most of their NL play this year by going 11-8 in such games.
The Indians have an off day today and they’ll face baseball’s worst team in the Baltimore Orioles in a quick series this weekend, in hopes to extend their win streak.