8.22.2016

High & Low of Indians Vs Blue Jays 8/19-8/21: Party Like A Rock Star



One of the best teams in the AL, the AL East leading Blue Jays. The Indians won the series. They're seven up on the Tigers. It's almost the end of August.

If you didn't think this was serious, you better now.




Highest: Walkoff Hero

I just. I don't have any words for this one man.

How many times have you watched this video? This replay? What can you say? The set-up to Naquin getting that opportunity with Jose's homer. The fact that he had already walked-off in another way the night before. The team running onto the field before he even crosses home plate. The slide, the dejected look of Russell Martin after he couldn't get the tag. Watching center fielder Devon Travis get to that ball and getting off whatever he could and knowing that Naquin is probably scoring because you can't throw against your momentum like that and get enough on it.

The celebration.

Oh the celebration. Just, all of it. Bottle it up and put that one in the memory bank, cause that one is lasting awhile.

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High: American Flag American Flag American Flag Fire Fire Fire 100 100 100

You think Trevor Bauer was a little amped to play the Blue Jays? I think so, and damn, what a performance. Both he and Kluber had to deal with opposing pitchers having great games and not having any margin for error. And both he and Kluber ended up getting late offensive heroics to get them off the hook. 

Bauer's game was that much better though. He may have not had a lead, but he pitched like he was in control and in command. He put one of the better offenses in the AL away and kept them at bay as much as he needed to.

And then, for funsies.

High: All Fired Up

I mean, I could just put fire emoji and goat emoji here and just leave it at that, but I think I've been abusing that on Twitter quite enough.

How great is this guy? He's entering legit team MVP territory. He doesn't have the best numbers overall, but the dude has the best numbers when they count. And now just in two games he comes up and, while Naquin had the walk-off on  Friday, without Jose, the Indians probably don't win the series and probably don't even win a single game. Those home runs were huge, yes, but he's doing more than just that. He's hitting. He's getting those hits when they count and he's knocking in runs in other situations. 

When he gets a guy on base, it all changes. This second half, he has a 152 wRC+. He's most definitely been a huge key to the offense looking quite good these past few months.

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Low: Cowboy Unsaddled

Josh Tomlin is struggling. The command isn't there. That's what it boils down to. It is pretty evident by some of the pitches you see and of course, the results too, they say it all. 

We'll get into hooking him quicker later, but Tomlin's start on Saturday was just another bit of reason to worry about the guy. Whatever is going on with him, maybe it's time for a step back? Indians report no injury, so if that's not the case, maybe it's workload? He hasn't seen this much work in a few years, and not just that, but this is uncharted territory for him. 

Tomlin definitely wasn't right on Saturday. It was clear from the get-go and he hasn't looked right in several starts. Here's to hoping the Indians can figure it out and Tomlin can right himself before too long. 

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High: Lon is a Battlefield

Man that at-bat by Lonnie was intense. I kept waiting for the big dumb dumb to strikeout in that spot, but he kept battling. And really, he's had a lot of at-bats like that this year. He's definitely progressed again this year in terms of his plate discipline and that at-bat was something else.

And man, did that place come unglued when Lonnie did that. Go get you some Lon-Dog!

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High: Go With the Flow

Corey Kluber turned in a great outing. The last time he's lost a game was against the Blue Jays back in early July. Here, his two runs put him in line for another one that way that Marcus Stroman was pitching. The offense came to the rescue, but the real hero for Kluber?

Mike Clevinger, who came in after Kluber loaded the bases and struck out Edwin Encarnacion. How nails was that? And how about using him in that spot? There's some thought he'll slide back into the rotation with whatever happens with Tomlin, if something does, but regardless Clevinger is a nice weapon to have in some capacity now. Maybe coming out of the pen for one or two will serve him good in trying to harness that command. His spot was probably the biggest of the series considering it kept it a one-run game and of course, kept it where it needed to be for another inning after that for the heroics to happen.

High/Low: Speaking Of...

What a solid weekend for the pen, not giving up a run. In addition to Clevinger's big spot, they were a reason the Indians remained in the game on Saturday. They should have been utilized the minute the Indians tied that game up, but Tito decided to try and give Tomlin one more shot.

It cost them that game, or at least a better opportunity than being down one, because Bauer's eight the night before and Kluber the next day gives you a full pen and the game is tied, of course. Solid effort this weekend from the pen to keep that big Blue Jays lineup in check.

Next Up: I go to bed before the games even start. Yup, we've got a west coast road trip, first off in Oakland. So, see you next week, right?

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