The Cleveland Indians took care of business on the back of a career night for their young pitcher, as Shane Bieber sailed through the Rays.
Cruising through this Rays lineups is not an easy task for anyone at this point. These Rays have given nearly every pitcher they’ve faced headaches, including some the best the Cleveland Indians have had to offer. But last night Shane Bieber took to the mound and proved that this is still a very beatable Rays lineup.
A recent problem for Bieber has been struggles in late innings. Last night that didn’t bother him at all. Bieber pitched 6.2 innings allowing just 3 hits and tallying up a career-high 11 strikeouts. It was the rallying cry the Indians needed after several nights of inconsistency plagued the Tribe.
It was also an outing the Indians needed, as the bullpen was used extensively in Monday’s game. Brad Hand and Cody Allen did their part, with Cody Allen recoding his 27th save of the season. But as for Bieber, he proved his brilliance.
Bieber likely won’t be a starter for the Indians in the playoff barring unforeseen issues with Trevor Bauer, but something that we may see in the playoffs is the reloaded Indians offense. This game featured Josh Donaldson at 3B for the first time this year for the Indians. He made his presence well-known in this game with a beautiful play to get the Indians out of the sixth inning.
This also meant that we would see Jose Ramirez at 2B and Jason Kipnis now in CF. Having Kipnis in center-field allows for a bit more flexibility with the lineup as the team is have Greg Allen play off the bench. That’s exactly what manager, Terry Francona did last night.
But the offensive hero of the night was Donaldson’s former Blue Jay counterpart, Edwin Encarnacion. Edwin smacked a no-doubt-about-it homer to deep left field and it gave the Indians a two run lead after Donaldson had flown out to the warning track in his first two at-bats. It’s almost as if Edwin was teasing Donaldson.
We would be remiss if we failed to mention Yan Gomes two-hit night with one of those hits going all the way to the concourse through the gated area at Tropicana field. Some big bats helped the Indians take care of business in this game.
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The Indians are back at it today with a matinée game at 1:10 PM EST. If Carlos Carrasco can follow-up the remarkable outing by Shane Bieber, the Indians will be in good hands.