I want to start this off by saying that after the Indians first road trip back from all star break, I was a bit concerned. Then they went to the gas station… and boy did they fill up. After they fell to the White Sox this afternoon 3-1 because of Bryan Shaw, the Indians win streak of nine games came to an end.
Though they lost Sunday, we saw some of the best baseball played by the Indians so far this year. Some of the highlights from the win streak were when Francisco Lindor finally finding his bat. Lindor’s average jumped above .260 moving all the way from around .250 since the start of all star break. Surprisingly, Danny Salazar seems like he’s found himself again after disappearing for what was most of this year. Since he came off the DL, Danny is 1-0 while allowing just three runs over his last two starts and has worked into the 7th inning or later each time.
With Danny Salazar coming back from the DL, the Tribe went to a 6-man rotation. However, Tito quickly mentioned that it wouldn’t last for long, which in turn must have lit a fire underneath all six pitchers, particularly Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. In the 9 game winning streak, Tomlin was 1-0 with a 3.0 ERA and was pitching no-hit ball before leaving Sunday’s game in the 5th inning with hamstring tightness. Trevor Bauer though was even more surprising. I have been a huge criticizer of Trevor Bauer all season, but his last five starts have been great. He is 2-0 with 13 innings pitched and allowing just four runs over those last two starts.
While the Indians started out slow after the break, I don’t think it was all that bad for them. I think they learned a lot about themselves and what it means to work as a team. A lot of people including me have expected the Indians to just step on the field and win and the first half of the season has been a real patience tester for all the fans. Even though the streak is over, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team get rolling and start winning a lot series over the rest of the season.
stats via MLB.com and ESPN
image via WKYC.com