Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 6-4 walk off victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies Sunday that gave the Tribe the weekend series sweep.
1) Indians center fielder Michael Bourn may not have the testy hamstring that’s plagued him all season ready to start running at will in order to cause havoc on the bases and rack up the kind of stolen base numbers he’s known for, but Sunday he proved he can help the Indians in another way. It was Bourn’s two-run home run – his first career walk off homer - that handed the Indians the 6-4 victory and sealed the weekend sweep. Earlier in the game, he led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and scored on Michael Brantley’s RBI single as part of the Tribe’s three-run first inning.
“As the weather heats up and he gets more confidence - I mean, he’s been swinging the bat really well,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Bourny’s got a lot of ways to beat you.”
2) Bourn’s nine-game hitting streak was snapped last week in Chicago, but he’s hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games since May 17th. Over that stretch, Bourn’s hitting at a .357 clip (21-for-60) with three doubles, five RBI and 10 runs scored.
3) Tribe starting pitchers racked up 28 strikeouts alone during the series sweep, led by Corey Kluber’s 12 K’s in his dominating outing Friday night. On Sunday, five Indians hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts. With the weekend strikeout surge, the Tribe’s pitching staff surpassed the 500-strikeout mark just two months into the season to become the first team to reach the milestone mark this season.
4) Asked if he knew where all the whiffs were coming from, Francona mused: “Well, Klub’s was really good, but I think every game is different. I don’t know, but maybe (with the Rockies) there’s some unfamiliarity. That certainly can lead to (strikeouts) when you don’t see pitchers and it’s your first (look). You can watch all the video you want, but it’s hard until you see guys.”
For the Indians’ sake, hopefully it’s more of a growing trend that will continue as the club’s young pitchers continue to grow into their own and become more confident.
5) Here’s two other pretty telling numbers from the weekend sweep: the Indians raised their American League-best record at home to 18-11, and are 16-1 at Progressive Field this season when they score four or more runs. Even Francona admitted playing at home over the weekend (as opposed to being on the road where they’ve struggled) just seems to put an extra bounce in his players’ steps.
“We had some really good (starting) pitching and good relief pitching,” he said. “And when you’re at home and hitting last, you feel like once you get them out you know if you score, you win and you go home. It’s a little more exciting.”