I have to admit when I watched Kansas City’s lifelong Royal, Salvador Perez, home run blast to the bleachers off of Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber in the 4th inning of today’s ballgame, I turned the game off and switched to the Cincinnati Reds game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. I figured I might see a better game for the home team, especially more offense which the Indians have been struggling to find five games into the season.
So, it was with a bit of surprise but also a relief to see Indians’ savior Jose Ramirez launch a 6th inning home run blast to the right field stands and then follow it up with another almost identical blast in the 8th inning to help the Tribe secure a 4-2 win over the Royals on a start by Cy Young and ace for the Tribe, Shane Bieber.
Bieber didn’t get the win, but again pitched a solid game and mowed down 12 Royals in route to a 6 and 1/3 inning outing. Dating back to last season, Bieber has had plus 10 strikeouts in 10 of 14 starts. And that’s 14 straight starts of eight strikeouts a game. That’s tied for 5th in MLB history.
The pitching for the Tribe has been decent through five games but when the offense can’t get runs or put a series of hits together for a big inning, then the importance of the Tribe pitchers to produce goose eggs becomes much more imperative.
Today, the Indians had eight hits and spread the hitting around a bit more, but it was the “Jose! Jose! Jose” heroics that were the needed jolt for this early, but still a test on an Indians team that only has four players over 30 years old and not much veteran presence. The Tribe certainly could use another 30 plus home run and 100 RBI run by Ramirez, like he did back in 2018.
Standing now at 2-3, the Indians are still searching for an identity, but at least for a game Ramirez rescued a victory and just maybe that is enough to spark these young players. I don’t like turning on the Reds game, because I’m an Indians fan “till death do us part”!