Thursday was one of those night’s when everything just clicked. The pitching was outstanding, the lineup put crooked numbers on the board, and the Indians sent the 18,000-plus home happy. Well, the 18,000 minus however many Reds fans might have been in attendance. With the 7-1 victory, the Indians split the Ohio Cup with their cross state rivals and have now won two in a row headed into the weekend.
For the most part, despite what the score indicates, last night’s game was rather uneventful. Scott Kazmir shut the Reds down over the course of seven outstanding innings of work. He allowed just the one lone run while scattering eight hits and striking out five. It was everything we had seen out of Kazmir during Spring Training and everything we had hoped he would be. The seven innings of work were also an added bonus. Kazmir typically struggles to make it through five innings (he throws too many pitches) so last night’s outing gave the bullpen a surprise night off.
Meanwhile, the Indians did all of their damage in the bottom of the fourth. After an impressive first three innings by Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey, the wheels completely fell off after recording two outs. Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes delivered back to back RBI singles, Ryan Raburn and Michael Bourn followed with back to back RBI doubles, Jason Kipnis singled to score Bourn, and Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to score Kipnis. By the time it was all said and done, the Indians had posted seven runs and put the game out of reach.
The victory over the Reds was the Indians ninth straight against Cincinnati at Progressive Field. The last time the Reds won in Cleveland was May of 2010. The Indians will look to continue their positive momentum when the take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a three game series at Progressive Field this weekend. Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
The Good: Scott Kazmir. This was a positive turn of events for Kazmir and the Indians. He had struggled in his most recent starts so last night’s seven quality innings were a very god sign for the team moving forward. Part of why they played so well for most of May was due to the performance of the pitching staff.
The Bad: Nick Swisher went 0-4. Other than that, there wasn’t really much to complain about.
The “Huh?”: As previous mentioned, the last time the Reds won in Cleveland was May 22, 2010. The Indians lineup that day:
- Trevor Crowe
- Shin-Soo Choo
- Austin Kearns
- Travis Hafner
- Jhonny Peralta
- Matt LaPorta
- Mark Grudzielanek
- Mike Redmond
- Jason Donald
My how things change. The Indians have experienced a complete roster turnover since then, and it’s a good thing too. No wonder the Reds won that day.