Indians Pound Reds, Sets Up Spring Training Rubber Match
The Indians bounced back in a big way yesterday after a disappointing Cactus League opener. One day after falling to the Reds by a score of 8-3, the Tribe jumped all over the Cincinnati pitching staff on their way to a 13-3 victory. In the grand scheme of things this game means very little, but at the same time it was nice to see them be able to rebound in such a positive way. There were a lot of positives to take away from yesterday’s game, so without any further introduction, here are the good, the bad, and the ugly from yesterday’s game.
- The offense showed up in a big way. One day after being held to just three runs on three hits, the offense exploded for 12 runs on 12 hits and 10 walks.
- More specifically, minor league catching prospect Jake Lowery blasted a 1-0 offering from Ismael Guillon to right-center field for a grand slam. Lowery’s slam, which was an absolutely titanic blast, put the Tribe up by a score of 7-2 and broke the game wide open.
- Lowery wasn’t the only Indian to go deep on Thursday afternoon. Also getting in on the home run barrage were veteran utility man Elliot Johnson and top outfield prospect Tyler Naquin. Johnson’s two-run shot opened the scoring for the Indians in the top half of the fourth. Naquin’s homer, a two-run moon shot that benefited from the stiff breeze blowing out to right, put the Tribe up by a score of 11-2. Both were significant. For Johnson, the home run was a positive first step in attempting to win the final spot on the roster. For Naquin, this is another sign that he may be ready to break out if given the proper opportunity.
- The pitching was significantly better. One day after imploding for 8 runs, the Indians pitchers combined to allow only 3 runs on 3 hits. They also only walked 3 batters. Of the eight pitchers used, perhaps the most impressive was Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco, who is embroiled in a battle for the fifth and final spot in the rotation threw two scoreless innings and struck out two batters while walking none.
- Carlos Santana made his first start of the spring at third base. Unfortunately, it was a rather uneventful debut. In two innings of work at the hot corner, Santana had no balls hit his way. It looks like we will all have to wait a little while longer before we can properly evaluate Santana’s play in the field.
- Corey Kluber had a rough go of it in his first appearance of the spring. After taking over for Justin Masterson to start the second inning, Kluber allowed two runs to cross the plate on a double by shortstop Zack Cozart. Luckily for Kluber, the damage wasn’t worse as Cozart was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple.
- Despite scoring 12 runs, the Indians offense did have one black mark against them. As a team, the Indians went 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position. That dismal performance resulted in 25 runners being stranded on base.
- With a game like yesterday’s it’s hard to find a negative aspect of the game that was bad enough to be classified as ugly.