CLEVELAND, Ohio- On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians faced the Houston Astros on an unusual warm April evening. The Indians were coming into the game with a 10-8 record and in first place in the AL Central.
The Astros were going into the game with a 13-6 record and lead the AL West.
This was the Indians first home game back from a 6 game road trip where they won 5 out of 6 games, both against divisional foes.
The Indians struck first against the Astros but could not maintain their early momentum that they started with.
Here's our three takeaways from the Indians 4-2 defeat.
1.) Keuchel keeps Indians grounded
Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel kept the Indians grounded on Tuesday evening.
Keuchel pitched a complete game in which he gave up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, struck out 5, walked three, and of course pitched 9 innings.
Keuchel improved to 4-0 on the season and threw his 11 career complete game and his first one this season. Keuchel is tied 3rd in the American League with Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber, for most complete games since 2012. Keuchel also became the first visiting pitcher to throw a complete game at Progressive Field since Jose Quintana did on July 24, 2015.
Keuchel induced 12 groundouts, 4 flyouts. He was ranked 2nd in the AL in ground ball outs going into the game with 49 this season and was also 1st going into the game in ground ball to fly ball ratio with a 4.90.
Below is Keuchel's pitch chart from the game this evening against the Cleveland Indians. The chart was tweeted out by
Dallas Keuchel has been amazing with his ability to keep the ball down this season... Here's his pitch chart tonight pic.twitter.com/aRCWSalqOo
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 26, 2017
2.) Tough Night on Defense for the Tribe
The Indians had a tough time on defense this evening and committed 2 errors in the game at costly times. There were a few other miscues that happened but were not charged officially as an error tonight.
Jensen Lewis tweeted out the following which is an example of how the night went for the Tribe, specifically for Francisco Lindor.
Another situation was when Jose Ramirez cut off Michael Brantley's throw to home plate in the 5th inning when the Astros scored 3 runs. Ramirez cut off the throw and attempted to throw out Josh Reddick who was advancing on the throw and threw the ball into the outfield.
If Ramirez let the ball go there was a good chance that Norichika Aoki would have been thrown out at the plate and not scored the 3rd run of the inning.
The last situation of the Tribe's defensive woes was when Aoki hit a swinging bunt in the 9th inning and Yan Gomes went to field it and threw the ball over Aoki's head and towards the right field line. Aoki advanced to second on the throw.
One positive though about the Indians defense tonight was the final out of the 9th inning when George Springer hit a fly ball to Brandon Guyer and Guyer threw out Aoki at the plate to end the inning.
3. Tomlin defeated by the Big Inning
Indians starting pitcher, Josh Tomlin was off to a good start in the game. Tomlin ran into some trouble in the 3rd inning when he gave up his first hit and the Astros were threatening with runners at the corners and one out. Tomlin managed to get out of that inning without any damage.
The 5th inning came along and the Astros got 4 straight hits off of Tomlin and scored 3 runs off of the Indians starter. After the Astros had 4 consecutive hits, Tomlin settled down and retired the Astros 2-3-4 hitters in order.
The Astros went on to win the game 4-2 and only scored one more run which came in the 9th inning.
Tomlin went 6 innings pitched, 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, and had 6 strikeouts.
The Cleveland Indians will be playing their second game of a 3-game series against the Astros.
Game 2 will be at 6:10 PM EST and the Indians will be sending Trevor Bauer to the hill and will be opposed by Lance McCullers.