Here are 17 Walk-Off Thoughts on the Indians’ 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles Friday night.
1. The Indians fought back from a rough first inning to tie it 3-3 before the Orioles knocked around Zach McAllister in the seventh inning. Manny Machado—who is arguably one of the top two players in the American League right now—doubled, Chris Davis doubled to tie it and on the next pitch, Mark Trumbo took McAllister deep for a two-run home run. A couple of pitches, and a night’s worth of climbing back from a 3-0 deficit was erased.
2. The problem with McAllister Friday night was location. He faced three hitters who have all already hit double-digit home runs this season and left fastballs out over the middle of the plate to where all three could get extended.
3. Said Indians manager Terry Francona, “We fought back to get it tied, feel heck of a lot better about the game, and then Zach came in and he just left balls middle-out. Can’t let those big strong guys get extended like that.”
4. No kidding. Here are the locations (represented by the blue circles), via GameDay, on the three extra-base hits that did McAllister and the Indians in on Friday night in order from Machado to Davis to Trumbo.
5. All three are fastballs, all three are out and over the plate, all three were hit hard.
6. Said McAllister, “And then, when I threw my fastball, sometimes they were elevated too much, and too much plate. The fastballs cost me today, but it wasn't a mix of throwing too many fastballs today. I thought today I had a better mix than I had in the past. I just didn't execute them.”
7. The Indians have Cody Allen for the ninth and Bryan Shaw for the eighth. McAllister, Jeff Manship and Tommy Hunter have all come in for high-leverage situations. This certainly wasn’t the best showing for McAllister, and the pecking order behind Allen and Shaw will continue to be molded. Still, McAllister at times has been terrific this season. It was a bad night. The key is not making it multiple bad nights in a row.
8. Trevor Bauer wasn’t very good in the first inning. Then, he was terrific for the next five. Go figure.
More: Jose Ramirez sticking in fifth spot in the lineup; Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco injury updates
9. He’s had those types of outings before, for whatever reason struggling in the first inning and then allowing the Indians time to get back into it. Bauer said he didn’t change anything because he didn’t think the Orioles were really hitting the ball hard in the first inning.
10. Said Bauer, “To be honest I just tried to do the same thing. It’s not like they squared the ball up in the first inning. So, I keep throwing strikes and hope that they start going to people.”
11. Bauer appeared to be frustrated that Jonathan Schoop’s costly two-out, two-RBI single got through after not being hit too hard, and connected it to his last start, when Hanley Ramirez got a ball down after being jammed.
12. Said Bauer, “I think I did a pretty good job and the ball barely rolled on the outfield grass. The second outing in a row – last time it was Hanley [Ramirez] that hit a ball off his knuckles and it falls in. I think he hit it like 62 miles per hour or something, and the one tonight was hit about the same. I don’t know. What do you do?”
13. It ended up not being too bad of a start, especially against these Orioles, who have a loaded offense when hitting well. But, he’s now allowed three-or-more runs in five of his six starts this season.
14. Bauer always expects more from himself. He still does, saying, “I feel like I should go seven or eight every outing and give up less than three. So, it sucks how it started off. I wish I could have stayed out there longer for the team.”
15. Jose Ramirez continues to be one of the better hitters in the lineup. He went 4-for-4 Friday night with two doubles and in Michael Brantley’s absence has given, just about, Brantley-level production.
16. Said Francona, “I just think he’s a good hitter. He had a little spell there where he wasn’t swinging it great but he bounced right back and he’s been really valuable for us. We’ve played him all over, we’ve hit him all over and he’s been, especially with Brant out, he’s been really big for us because he’s done a lot of things offensively.”
17. It’ll be interesting to see how the Indians handle Brantley’s return. Namely, it’ll be interesting to see what happens at third base. The Indians love Juan Uribe’s presence in the clubhouse, but Ramirez has been the more productive player and has certainly warranted an everyday spot in the lineup.