Eight final thoughts for the eight runs it took for the Tribe to beat the Padres tonight.
1. It's pretty surprising "this" is being said about "this" player, but in many respects Nyjer Morgan really has his head on straight. Yes, there's the Tony Plush business. But he also said tonight, in a moment when he could have played himself up following another great game, that he's just "holding down the fort" until Bourn returns. He gets it. He also said he feels comfortable because he knows what type of player he is, so he's a guy who understands his role on this team fully.
2. He first joked that he hopes his Plush persona stays on vacation. But then he later joked that he's around and made a hushing motion. So, buckle your seatbelts.
3. From the top of the order to the bottom, this team can hit. David Murphy went 2-for-3 tonight with a home run and four RBI, and he did it from the No. 9 position in the lineup. Yan Gomes, from the No. 8 slot, went 2-for-3 with a double. Lonnie Chisenhall, hitting seventh, "only" went 1-for-4 and he also had two hard-hit outs. Murphy was awful this spring but said he felt something the other day in the cage and it's carried over to his last two games.
4. This team continues to get to pitchers becaues it doesn't offer any kind of a break in the lineup. Jason Kipnis talked yesterday about how he loves that, and how other clubs around the league love the Indians' lineup for that. Having the .330-hitting, 45-home-run-bopper in the middle of the order is much sexier. But if the Indians' No. 8 and No. 9 hitters are hitting half this good for the season, the Tribe offense will be just fine even without a Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, etc.
5. Corey Kluber allowed four singles to open the first four innings, but outside of that was very, very efficient, which is becoming his mantra. He's a darling of the SABR fans for a reason—and tonight he had eight K's and no walks. If you believe in those numbers, Kluber should look much more like he did tonight than in his first start against Oakland.
6. This has gotten a little lost but Nick Swisher has not been very good defensively at first base. That wasn't expected of him, but it's still evident. There have been hits that should have been stopped had he been in position, there have been plays where he should have gone to the bag. It's very easy to nit-pick and hindsight is 20/20. But with another error tonight, it's just something that's happening.
7. Vinnie Pestano might not be long for the minor leagues, or worse. The guy has worked his butt off to get back to where he was, but it's not there. Tonight he was hit hard again and turned an easy Tribe win into what was actually a tense last out, as John Axford got the final out with the tying run at the plate. Francona said after the game, simply, that when Pestano is making a mistake he's paying for it right now. Francona also said he didn't want to talk about his velocity every night.
8. Xavier Nady's bomb off Pestano just landed.