Buckle up Tribe fans. The once run starved Cleveland Indians offense has officially broken out in a big way following a 14-2 dismantling of the Philadelphia Phillies last night at Progressive Field. The win was the team’s third in a row and their sixth win in the past nine games.
The scoring got off to an early start in the bottom half of the first inning. Facing the normally outstanding Roy Halladay with one on and two out, Carlos Santana belted a moonshot out to right field that just squeaked its way inside the foul pole to put the Indians up 2-0. It was only the beginning of what was to come. Two batters later, following a walk to Jason Giambi, Mark Reynolds swatted an opposite field, two run homer of his own to put the Tribe up 4-0.
Former Tiger Delmon Young tried his best to chip away at the Indians lead in the top half of the second when he hit a solo homer to right center, but it was all in vain.
In the bottom of the fourth the Indians went up 8-0 after a two run jack by Lonnie Chisenhall and a two run single with the bases loaded from Asdrubal Cabrera. It was Cabrera’s single that sent Halladay to the showers early and erasing the memory of his last three outstanding performances. In the bottom of the fifth, the suddenly red-hot Ryan Raburn drilled a two run homer to left to push the Tribe lead to 10-1. Two batters later, Michael Brantely got in on fun by sending a two run homer out to right. It was 12-1 and the rout was officially on.
In the top of the sixth, the Phillies plated their second run of the game when Chase Utley hit a titanic shot to center field that still hasn’t landed. The Indians would have no part of any ill-fated attempts at a come back. To add the icing to the proverbial cake, Raburn hit his second home run of the game and fourth in the past two games to make it 13-2. Drew Stubbs followed that up with the Indians seventh and final home run of the night to make it a 14-2 ball game.
Lost in the gluttony of home runs that was hit last night was the pitching performance of Zach McAllister. Over the course of 7 innings, McAllister allowed only 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. It was a masterful performance and the kind we have come to expect from the wrong right hander. But, unfortunately for McAllister all anyone will be talking about is the barrage of home runs.
The Good: With all apologies to Zach McAllister, the story from last night was the home runs. The Indians belted seven of them, one short of tying the club record for most home runs in a single game. On April 8, 1987, the Indians hit eight home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Also, it’s important to acknowledge Ryan Raburn. He’s on fire right now. Over the last two games, he is 7 for his last 8 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI. Expect Terry Francona to ride the hot hand for a while.
The Bad: There isn’t one. Let’s move one.
The “Huh?” The 14 run explosion adds to a rather impressive three game stretch that has seen the Indians score a total of 33 runs while only allowing 5. This is exactly what fans envisioned when the Indians upgraded their offense with a new arsenal of hard-hitting power hitters, but it’s the pitching that has been the biggest surprise of this stretch. Let’s hope they can keep it up.