Not much is going wrong for the Indians at the moment. They’re 9-1 in their last 10 games, the starting rotation has been cash money, and the offense has taken the concept of small ball and blown it to smithereens. They’re absolutely rolling right now. Nobody is stopping them, especially the A’s who lost yesterday’s finale and were swept out of town by a score of 9-2.
The party at Progressive Field got started early yesterday afternoon thanks once again to the long ball and the ineffectiveness of Bartolo Colon. In the bottom of the first inning, Jason Kipnis drilled a two run shot to left center putting the Tribe up 2-0. The home run was Kipnis’ fourth on the year and continued a recent hot streak by the Tribe’s young second baseman.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Indians put three more runs on the board to go up 5-0. Yan Gomes hit an RBI double to right field to score Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs followed with a single to score Gomes, Then following a Michael Brantley single to advance Stubbs to third, Jason Kipnis recorded his third RBI of the game when he hit a sac fly to center to score Stubbs.
Capping off an impressive three inning stretch for the Indians offense was Nick Swisher. In the bottom of the third, Swisher led off with a homer to right to make it a 6-0 ball game. Things would be smooth sailing from there, mostly thanks to the arm of Scott Kazmir.
Kazmir finally looked like the Scott Kazmir of old yesterday. He threw 6 spectacular innings, allowing only 1 run on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 10. Yes, you read correctly. Kazmir struck out 10 A’s on the way to his first victory since 2010 and the first time he has struck out at least 10 since 2009. Oh, and his fastball maxed out at 95 MPH. His signing is beginning to look like a potential steal for the Indians.
Speaking of steals, Mark Reynolds is beginning to look like a bigger bargain each and every time he steps into the batter’s box. Case in point, during the bottom of the fifth Reynolds stepped to the plate following a Jason Giambi RBI single and did what he’s done all season long. Reynolds destroyed a high fastball and sent it out to the right center seats to make it a 9-1 ball game.
For the A’s their offense was next to non-existent against Kazmir. In the top of the sixth, Josh Donaldson homered to left center to out the A’s on the board. Then in the top of the eighth, Eric Sogard singled to center to make it a 9-2 ball game. It proved to be nowhere near enough offense against an Indians team that has transformed into an offensive juggernaut.
The Good: Scott Kazmir was phenomenal. You can tell that he has finally knocked some of the rust off following an injury at the end of Spring Training. If yesterday’s performance can prove to be something he can replicate over and over again, he become that much more valuable to the cause.
The Bad: Nothing. The Indians swept the A’s in a four game series and looked mostly dominant the entire time. Time to move on to the Tigers.
The “Huh?”: All yesterday morning, people were calling for MLB to replay the final inning of the Indians-A’s game in order to declare a proper winner following Angel Hernandez’s massive brain cramp on Wednesday night. Yes, the Adam Rosales double should have been a home run, but to replay the final out and possibly take a win away following the end of a game could have been like opening Pandora’s Box.