The Cleveland Indians dropped a 13-inning affair to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, 3-2. Corey Kluber was all but flawless once again, only allowing one final slip-up by way of a Shohei Ohtani two-run blast to tie the game up in the fifth inning. Angels shortstop Zack Cozart walked it off in style for Los Angeles in the bottom of the 13th inning with a solo shot to end what was a strong defensive game.
Let's look at the three takeaways from the tough loss:
1. Ohtani, Oh No- Shohei Ohtani has certainly lived up to the hype thus far in his short MLB tenure. In just six games with Los Angeles, Ohtani has been the designated hitter for the Angels three times. Two of those appearances were against the Indians and he truly made them pay.
Ohtani continued his success against Cleveland pitching with a game-tying home run off of Tribe ace Corey Kluber in the fifth inning. It was another pitch he found to his liking, as he continues to show off his tremendous eye at the plate. Ohtani has such a smooth swing that he really doesn't need to swing with a lot of might. With five runs batted in and a .462 batting average early on, it has been a great start for the 23-year old Japanese phenom. If he continues to pitch and hit at an efficient rate, he might be holding a bunch of hardware come year's end.
That's a long time from now, but so far Ohtani has delivered.
2. Pitching Marathon- A combined total of 16 pitchers took the mound for Cleveland and Los Angeles in Wednesday's contest, as the arms were surely used to the max in the extra-inning showdown. While Corey Kluber was able to outlast Tyler Skaggs, the Los Angeles bullpen stifled the Indians offense for the remaining 8.1 innings of the game. The Trine got a few baserunners aboard as the game progressed but struggled to bring them home. When extra-innings hit, the Angels constantly pressured the Cleveland pitching with a baserunner.
Eventually, Zack Cozart sent a shot to the left-field bleachers to send the home crowd happy. If the game didn't come to an end at that point, the Angels would have been in a conundrum due to the fact they had emptied their entire bullpen.
3. Tribe's Offense Sputters- The Indians had the bases loaded in the first inning, something every offense dreams about. They produced but not to their liking. With a Brandon Guyer RBI single, Francisco Lindor came home to score the game's first run. That would be the only run of the inning, however, as Cleveland would fail to bring anyone else across home plate.
That would ultimately haunt the Indians in this one. Despite an RBI single by Jason Kipnis in the fifth inning, they just couldn't get the bats going after a disastrous conclusion to the end of the first frame. Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion would both go hitless and that seemed to hurt the flow of the lineup. Without those heavy hitters producing, the rest of the lineup can't seem to get anything going momentum-wise.