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Second Thoughts Games #79-80: Tribe wins two

Tribe sweeps twin bill with scorching bats and never-quit attitude

Second Thoughts Games #79-80: Tribe wins two
June 29, 2013
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Never Give Up

We’ve probably said this before when the Indians have had good first halves of the season the last couple years, but this time, it’s legitimate. There is something special about this Cleveland Indians team. They won’t win every game, but they will battle you tooth and nail until the last pitch is thrown. On Friday night and into early Saturday morning, the Erie Warriors did just that and ended up with a two-game sweep of the White Sox in a traditional doubleheader.

Unlike the last couple seasons where the Indians have had to turn to players on a hot streak to carry the team, this is a club with talent up and down the roster and the ability to pick each other up when they’re struggling.

As a perfect example, top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer was less than stellar in game one of the twin bill as he failed to make it out of the first inning after giving up five runs. The Indians found themselves down 5-0 right off the bat. Not only do they come back to tie it, they scored 14 additional runs to take first game in a 19-10 rout.

The pitching didn’t fare much better in game two, but again, the bats came to the rescue, particularly in the ninth where they rallied from an 8-5 deficit to take a 9-8 lead and win the game to complete the sweep.

The Indians have had the opposite happen on numerous occasions as well where the offense was quiet for the most part, but the pitching was good enough to preserve the lead (Justin Masterson’s 1-0 complete-game shutouts come to mind). They are not an elite or a perfect team by any means, but their present talent and resilience could spell long-term success for the Comeback Kids of the Cuyahoga.

Red Hot Is An Understatement

There are no words to describe how locked in Jason Kipnis is at the plate right now. The Tribe second baseman is now hitting .425 in the month of June with four hits in seven at-bats during the doubleheader as he hit three doubles and drove in four runs giving him a .295 batting average on the season with 11 home runs and 49 RBI’s.

In addition to what he’s been able to do with the bat in the month of June, Kipnis has also shown tremendous plate discipline drawing nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (22). Add that to his .400+ batting average and you get an on-base percentage also right around .500 for the month and .380 on the season. Obviously Kipnis won’t be getting on base in half of his at-bats for the rest of the season, but the approach he’s developed at the plate during this hot streak is definitely something he can hopefully latch onto and use to find long-term consistency.

The soon-to-be American League Player of the Month has sling-shot himself right back into the All-Star discussion. Is it too late for the young infielder to have a legitimate chance at making the All-Star roster? Is the second base competition just too tough for him to overcome? Maybe, but with two weeks remaining between now and the Midsummer Classic, unless Kipnis hits a major two-week slump, he’ll be worthy even if he doesn’t get the nod.

Quick Game Facts: 

  • The doubleheader between the Indians and White Sox lasted seven hours and 53 minutes marking the longest twin bill in MLB history without extra innings in either game.
  • Jason Kipnis has now recorded a hit in 11 straight games and reached base safely in 31 consecutive games.
  • The 28 runs the Indians scored in Friday’s doubleheader are more than their last six games combined.
  • Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall now has a six-game hit streak going and a .323 batting average since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
  • Mark Reynolds hit only his fifth home run on the road this season on Friday night. His last came on April 21st against Houston.
  • Carlos Carrasco hasn’t won a game since June 29th, 2011, exactly two years ago on Saturday. He got a no-decision in game two.
  • The Indians have not lost a series since being swept by Detroit on June 7th-9th.

Up Next: Indians vs. White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. First pitch at 4:10 ET.

After a long and exciting night for the Tribe, Ubaldo Jimenez will toe the rubber against Dylan Axelrod in hopes of handing his team their fifth series win in their last six sets. Jimenez has yet to make a start against the Pale Hose this season, but was not exactly Cy Young against them in 2012 going 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA in two starts against them last year. Axelrod, on the other hand, pitched very well against the Tribe in one start this season, pitching six innings of one-run ball on April 22nd.

Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.

User Comments

June 29, 2013 - 1:15 PM EDT
I cant decide if Bauer is channeling Oil Can Boyd, Steve Carlton or Harvey Peckar! The guy just decided at game time to pitch out of the stretch and didn't bother to mention it to skip or the pitching coach?????

Doesn't make it out of the 1st !!!! ...AND is sent packing back to Columbus BEFORE THE 7TH INNING STRETCH.

They should have sent a babysitter with him to make sure he watched the MAJOR LEAGUE II DVD the whole way to Clipperland!

I love the guy's stuff but one thing is sure. With Treffor Rap Boy the circus is ALWAYS IN TOWN. Nothing is a real surprise.

But...ease up on Carlos. He's not that far off. Forget about the ERA. The stuff is there but he's regressed in high leverage situations with men on. Bonus?......back to back to back spot starts.....WITHOUT A SUSPENSION!

If this offense - with Bourn & Stubbs providing top of the line-up production - and someone - Markie Mark the Sheriff or Carlos Santana in April & early May - and now Kipnis in June - carrying the bulk with a monster run - if this offense can incorporate some of this consistently?

Then we will have a Baltimore/Oakland - esque kinda summer.

Wow. Last night was a blast! Despite two talented rookies screwing the pooch.

This is historic kinda territory. Amazing.
June 29, 2013 - 11:50 AM EDT
I would say both have potential to be awesome because their pretty far from it right now, Carrasco being farther than Bauer at the moment.
June 29, 2013 - 11:11 AM EDT
Carrasco and Bauer are also their 6th and 7th starters, respectively. I don't know of too many teams that have awesome 6th and 7th starters
League Park
June 29, 2013 - 9:27 AM EDT
Our pitching flat out sucks. When is Carrasco going to win a game? Bauer is a spaced out nut and I can see why Arizona got rid of him. Million dollar arm, 10 cent head
June 29, 2013 - 9:11 AM EDT
Bauer's and Carrasco's poor performance were masked by the surging offense. The Indians are essentially short of good and decent starters. They need to acquire one(s) via trade if they want to make the playoff.

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