Notes from the Cleveland Indians Road Trip
Out of the six games the Cleveland Indians have played so far, they were held to two or fewer runs in half of them. Cleveland has the worst batting average in the league. They are hitting .161 so far in the young season. In one game, the Indians only managed one hit, a home run from Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez, who was the Indians best hitter in 2017, has gotten off to a very slow start. He has started this season hitting an abysmal 1-for-23. As bad as that is, Ramirez has only struck out one time. Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis are both hitting below .200. The Indians need Ramirez, Lindor, and Ramirez to get on track to get the offense rolling.
One of the few things the Indians can be excited about offensively so far is Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion has three home runs through six games, including one of the inside-the-park variety. While he is only hitting .200 so far, that doesn’t tell the whole story. His on-base percentage has been solid, and sits at a respectable .333; however, it hasn’t all been positive for him. He has struck out six times in six games. The Indians need to get the bats rolling to take pressure off the pitchers who have mostly done their jobs.
Pitching Staff Does Its Part
The Indians pitchers have done their jobs, for the most part. If you take out one game in which Josh Tomlin got clobbered for eight runs over just three innings, the Indians have done a good job of keeping their opponents’ bats under control. The Indians are giving up three runs per game if you exclude the game in which they gave up 13.
Corey Kluber went eight innings in the opener against the Seattle Mariners and only gave up two runs. Kluber took the loss in a great outing. In his next start, Kluber went seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits. His only mistake came when Shohei Ohtani hit his second home run in as many days. Mike Clevinger delivered an impressive start, going 5.1 innings giving up no runs on four hits. Clevinger struck out five and showed that he has a major upside, which all Indians fans can and should be excited about. Carlos Carrasco had a rough start, giving up five runs over 7.2 innings. Carrasco got a win, but he surely will want to pitch better his next time out.
The Indians can’t be upset about coming home. The Tribe went 49-32 at home in 2017 and will look to continue their winning ways at home in 2018. The home opener is tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. against their AL Central rivals, the Kansas City Royals. Carrasco will take the mound for the Indians in front of a sellout crowd. The Indians will be in Cleveland for a ten-game home stand. Their opponents will be Kansas City, the Detroit Tigers, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Their series’ against Kansas City and Detroit will be important to begin the season.