Reviewing the Series: #3 Cleveland Indians
Well that sucked. Most of it, at least. The Indians rode stellar pitching to take two of three in this series. Let’s break it down starting at the team level:
The Rays truly deserved to win the first game on the back of great pitching and good enough offense. From there, the offense disappeared, which wasn’t a huge issue in the second game, but the third was truly a blow out. Tampa Bay won the game they were least likely to win, and got murdered in the only game they looked like the favorite. Baseball! Here is the Rays offense in all it’s glory:
Not a whole lot to write home about here. Longo was pretty good, again, which is nice, but he was only joined by Curt Casali on the positive side of the ledger. Dickerson and Forsythe were league average batters and the rest, well, that ain’t pretty. For the third consecutive series, that’s all of them by the way, Logan Morrison was the worst hitter on the team. He is quite adept at compiling bad at bats with volume. Truly a shitvant. He’s joined by fellow Seattle exodite Brad Miller who also had numerous poor plays in the field. Overall the Rays scored around 6.9 runs less than an average lineup, which was around five and a half lower than we expected. Here’s why:
Anytime you can get your relievers to face 18 batters in a series you’re doing something right. The starters were really good. Even Kluber who wore the lone loss pitched well better than average, but he can’t hold a candle to the dynamite performances delivered by Salazar, and especially Cookie Carrasco. Nice to see the Rays get to Cody Allen in the first two games, but the bats need to wake up sooner than the last two innings for any sort of success going forward. Let us take a look at the Rays own death dealers:
Smyly delivered an absolute gem of a start while wearing the loss in game two. Moore was also very good and deserved a better fate than the no decision he received. Then we get to Chris Archer who was better in this start than the previous two, but still well below even league average let alone the ace of the staff he needs to be. The pen wasn’t great in this series, but it hardly mattered with each game decided by several runs. Here’s their bats:
Rajai Davis continues to be a thorn in the Rays’ paw. He was joined by the phenom Francisco Lindor who should be less surprising as a pitch killer. He’s really good and getting better by the game. The Rays did well against arguably the best hitters on their team in Santana and Napoli, which was a key to this series. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Indians lineup showed few weaknesses.