Now that’s more like it. The Cleveland Indians snapped a two-game losing streak and got back to their winning ways with a 13-5 victory against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. on Monday.
In all honesty, this may have been the most impressive outing by the Indians this season. While they did allow five runs in the contest, the pitching was better than the score indicates, and a number of Indians had absolutely dominant performances at the plate. As a team, the Indians collected 20 hits.
The pitching was solid, if unspectacular. The long ball played a role as Tribe pitchers allowed two solo home runs in the contest, but aside from that, the pitching was pretty efficient.
- Drew Stubbs — CF (Cedric Hunter, Tim Fedroff)
- Jason Kipnis — 2B (Nate Spears)
- Lonnie Chisenhall — 3B (Ryan Rohlinger)
- Nick Swisher — DH (Mike McDade)
- Mark Reynolds — 1B (Jesus Aguilar)
- Matt Carson — RF (Chris McGuiness)
- Jeremy Hermida — LF (Matt Antonelli)
- Omir Santos — C (Brian Jeroloman)
- Francisco Lindor — SS
- Carlos Carrasco
- Zach McAllister
- Trevor Bauer
— As stated earlier, pitching was much better than the score indicates. Carlos Carrasco went three innings for the Indians and allowed two earned runs on four hits while striking out two. The numbers are not outstanding, but it’s a noticeable improvement from Carrasco’s last outing. Also, let’s take a look at the progress that Zach McAllistermade. In his last outing he allowed five earned runs, but he was tremendous on Monday as the right-hander allowed one hit across three innings of work. It was encouraging to see that McAllister was able to immediately put a bad outing behind him and go out and have a strong game like this. An outing like this is indicative of McAllister’s bulldog mentality and should just serve as further evidence that he could be a candidate for a breakthrough campaign.
— Speaking of pitchers, heralded prospect Trevor Bauer made his third appearance of the spring on Monday. The right-hander got the first batter he faced to fly out before he walked the next batter, who then scored after Logan Watkins doubled. A groundout eventually scored Watkins, but the run was unearned as Watkins only was able to advance to third base off a fielding error by Cedric Hunter. The other run came off a solo home run from Johermyn Chavez. However, the double and home run were the only two hits Bauer allowed in his three innings of work, so the outing was actually much better than his line indicates. Bauer also managed to pick up two strikeouts across the three innings.
— Lonnie Chisenhall was absolutely on fire at the plate. The left-handed hitter was only a triple shy of the cycle, and he also drew a walk. So far, Chisenhall has gone 8-for-17 this spring. Many of the Indians’ new acquisitions receive all the hype, but Chisenhall could be equally important to the Indians’ chances of competing this spring. It’s great to see that he’s gotten off to such a strong start in Spring Training.
— While Chisenhall has been great, Nick Swisher has been equally impressive and has also gone 8-for-17 this spring. Swisher is just such a fun player to watch compete, and it’s so evident that he loves the game. He’s another player that needs to get off to a strong start at the onset of the season, and he seems to be well on his way.
— With Asdrubal Cabrera away playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Francisco Lindor got the start on Monday and played the entire game. The 19-year-old performed quite well too and went 2-for-4 with a walk. Even if it is Spring Training, it’s still incredible to see Lindor have this kind of success. He’s arguably going to be the most exciting player to watch these next few weeks while Cabrera is gone.
The Indians take on the Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. today, and Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to get the start and pitch three innings. Left-hander David Huff will also see action, and sidearmer Joe Smith is expected to make his spring debut.