The Cleveland Indians made it interesting against the Detroit Tigers but were led to a 2-1 win by two heroes on the night.
His game-winner will be the play remembered from this one. But the pitching of Aaron Civale is what kept the Indians in a position to win the game and keep pace with the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card race.
Civale went 7.2 innings of one-run baseball to lower his ERA to 1.82 on the season. He has been a godsend for this rotation, allowing no more than two earned runs in any of his nine starts.
The dominant pitching was needed on a night when the Indians did have nine hits, but only one run until Puig’s exciting walk-off.
The lack of scoring meant Terry Francona was calling for bunts. And oh boy, that did not go over well. Not that it ever does. A bunt gave up an out in the bottom of the ninth. Then came one in the bottom of the 10th when a clean fielding of a Ryan Flaherty bunt would have spelled disaster. Luckily, the Tigers were the opponent in this scenario.
If Puig would have made an out instead of walking it off, that bunt could have been costly.
The Indians ended up pulling out the 2-1 win so that is all that matters. The win prevents any ground being lost in the playoff race and keeps confidence high. The way the game was won just wasn’t all that reassuring. Oh well, I’ll still take it.
The best news from the night, aside from the win, is that Jose Ramirez is apparently going to give it a go next week in Chicago. That is according to Andre Knott, who shared the news on the broadcast.
My guess is that Ramirez is being driven insane with Flaherty in the lineup and will tolerate the pain to be out there.
The Indians are back in action Thursday night with one more game against the Tigers. Let’s hope we see fewer bunts and more runs in a stress-free win to finish an insane 18-1 against Detroit in 2019.
The day may even begin with the Indians set in that second Wild Card spot!