1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back
The Cleveland Indians have had a troublesome week. After the Indians fourth straight victory on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds, the Indians would drop three in a row against to the Reds and a fourth straight to open a three game set against the Yankees on Friday night. The Indians pitching was awful all week following another gem from Corey Kluber on Monday. To make matters worse the Indians were beat up physically. The wear and tear on the Tribe forced manager Terry Francona to run out a sub-par lineup on Friday night in their 10-6 loss at Yankee Stadium.
The Indians were blessed on Saturday because they once again had Kluber on the hill and once again, he didn’t disappoint. Kluber would deal his way through the Yankee lineup for six innings without surrendering a run striking out 10. The Indians offense got a boost from Jose Ramirez when he hit his first career home run in the second inning, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead. Michael Brantley would later add on with a solo shot and get a much needed 3-0 victory.
However, staying in theme with the Indians trend of “1 step forward, 2 steps back”, two starters would be forced to leave the game Saturday due to injury. One of the Indians most clutch hitters David Murphy left the game with a potential right oblique injury. He most likely will have a MRI done on Sunday. Nick Swisher was also replaced mid-game on Saturday due to his continued right knee issues. Swisher has already spent time on the DL because he had surgery on the same right knee. Both players could be headed to the D.L. The loss of Murphy’s consistent ability to hit with runners in scoring position is a certain blow, whereas the departure of Swisher could be addition by subtraction.
Michael Bourn, who was easing his way into his rehab stint in the minor leagues may be asked to proceed with more urgency in light of these developments. As far as other possible replacements, rumors had Tyler Holt and recently acquired Zack Walters being scratched from AAA Columbus lineup before their game on Saturday night. Expect to see Holt back up with club and it looks like we are going to get a look at who we got in return for Asdrubal Cabrera sooner than expected.
I am still not ready to give up on this team just because I have seen what they can accomplish when they are clicking on all cylinders and because they are still right in the thick of the wild card race. Something needs to change quickly though. A fresh face or two wouldn’t hurt at this point, certainly continuing to let Swisher go 0-4 with 3 K’s a night isn’t helping. In another strange development, Carlos Carrasco is going to make the start for the Indians on Sunday. What can it hurt? He played his role in the bullpen and did a good job. Josh Tomlin and T.J. House have been disappointing of late and Francona is clearly searching for answers.
By: Brad Ward
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