For the first time in history the Indians swept the Royals in a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium. The Tribe went into the series in third place in the American League Central. The team is now in first place followed by the White Sox, the Royals, the Twins and lastly the Tigers.
The series was nothing short of entertaining. There was some great pitching, sprinkled in with great offense, some crazy umpire calls and most importantly the sweep.
Shane Bieber plugged away as the strikeout machine. He recorded his 19th consecutive game with eight plus strikeouts.
Triston McKenzie bounced back from a few shaky starts. McKenzie got the win while going five innings allowing just two hits and fanning five.
Nick Sandlin was flawless from the bullpen in his two appearances. He came in and shut the Royals bats down in crucial situations.
The “terrific trio” of Bryan Shaw, James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase continued to dominate. The back end of the bullpen has proven they are a force to be reckoned with.
Harold Ramirez – not many fans were familiar with this name prior to Kansas City but they know his name now. The “other Ramirez” was called up as Daniel Johnson was sent to the Taxi Squad. Ramirez’s first hit was a double. He continued to get on base throughout the series and added some air to the offense.
Josh Naylor – he had two home runs in Kansas City, one of those being a go-ahead dinger in game three. Naylor had told Bieber “we’re going to win this game” and he was right. Naylor is swinging the bat well as of late.
Jake Bauers – Bauers has struggled tremendously this season but he joined in the fun with a two-run blast. He was visibly happy to break out of his slump. Bauers commented on the team chemistry and how the guys “are working hard every day and finding ways to win.”
Jose Ramirez – can’t mention the offense with noting JRam’s efforts. Ramirez is tied for second in homeruns with eight in the American League.
All that extra fun (and crazy) stuff:
In game two a ball was hit into right center and Harold Ramirez and Josh Naylor bobbled it. Umpire Angel Hernandez, known to be in the thick of controversial calls lost the ball in the scoreboard lights. He called the batter out as he thought the ball was caught. None of the players seemed to be aware of his call. The runner on second was caught in between second and third. He was tagged out from the outfield throw. To the confusion of both teams the runner was sent to third after the umpires’ convened. Despite this not impacting the game it was beyond bizarre.
In game three, the umpire called a balk against the Royals pitcher. The manager and pitching both had word with the umpire and were ejected. Royals’ pitcher Brady Singer, who had the balk, also had a few colorful words for the umpire as he left the game.
The series has shown the scrappiness the Indians have. The offense is putting up runs consistently after the sixth inning. The fight to stay in games and not give up is certainly there. One of the most important part of a team is grit and heart and the Indians have that covered.
With the Indians playing so well, it’s tempting to put money on some of their upcoming games at powerplay canada and cash in on this winning streak.
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