It’s not often that I go to an Indians game and go the duration of the game without hearing somebody say something stupid or completely wrong about baseball. Wednesday was not the exception. The Indians trailed 2-1 in the second inning against Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Mark Reynolds singled to left and Ryan Raburn drove Torii Hunter to the wall in right field to single on a ball that Hunter should have caught. The Indians had two on and nobody out with Yan Gomes coming to the plate.
Let’s evaluate the entire scenario. Ubaldo Jimenez was on the mound for the Indians and he didn’t look sharp. The Tigers were going to score more runs. Yan Gomes unsuccessfully tried to bunt last Monday in the 10th inning before hitting a walk-off three-run homer. Gomes entered this at bat hitting .302 with a .642 slugging percentage. Verlander, for once, was not sharp and had just given up a 385-foot fly ball to a guy who has had below average power throughout his career, averaging one home run every 28.2 at bats. Oh, yeah, and IT’S THE SECOND INNING.
Gomes fouled off the first pitch. “WHY ISN’T HE BUNTING?!” a voice roared to my left. Rather than confuse this guy with the long list of reasons why Gomes shouldn’t be asked to bunt in this situation, I watched eagerly, hoping Gomes would crush a three-run shot to prove this guy wrong. Gomes worked the count to 3-1 before hitting a laser beam to left center that Andy Dirks ran down for the first out. Michael Bourn would follow with a single that plated Reynolds easily and sent Ryan Raburn to third with one out. Jason Kipnis struck out, Asdrubal Cabrera walked, and Michael Brantley grounded out to end the inning.