“Bieber Day” has now morphed into “Civale Day” given all the injuries in the Cleveland Indians rotation.
Aaron Civale got the start Wednesday night against Baltimore and fans may have thought it would be an easy cruise to victory.
In true Indians fashion, it was anything but that.
Civale allowed five earned runs on nine hits in five innings of work.
He only had one strikeout as well, but a five-run third inning for the Indians offense proved to be the difference in the 8-7 win.
No words. Just watch. pic.twitter.com/pQTmDe5rZI
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 17, 2021
Struggling Against The Orioles
The Orioles may be one of the worst teams in baseball, but they seem to like playing against Civale.
Civale got the start two weekends ago in Baltimore and ended up allowing four earned runs in six innings.
He also allowed three home runs in that start, adding one more Wednesday night.
But the good news is the Indians managed to win both games.
Run support is not always easy for this offense, but the Orioles aren’t exactly boasting a dominant pitching staff.
Wednesday was also a fascinating contrast after Civale’s latest start.
He went eight innings of shutout work against the Seattle Mariners and ended up retiring 22 batters in a row.
The Mariners are a terrible offense, but so are the Orioles.
Regardless, the offense did its job and the Indians are now 37-28 on the year.
Looking Toward The New Ace
Civale is now the staff ace, by default if nothing else.
We discussed earlier this week how there are to be some ups and downs expected based solely on his lack of experience at the MLB level.
He has never pitched a true full season and every start he makes in 2021 is a new career-high.
But now there is a whole new level of pressure on the 26-year-old.
Can he handle being the ace, on an interim basis?
There is truly no other option in place, so everyone is hoping Civale can indeed step up and fill Bieber’s shoes even if only for a few weeks.
Offense Must Continue To Help As Well
Indians fans are so used to a pitcher allowing five earned runs and that meaning all hope is lost.
But it is not out of the ordinary for an MLB offense to routinely score more than six runs per game.
The Indians have done that twice against Baltimore with Civale on the mound.
Wins are all anyone cares about and some Jose Ramirez magic helped Civale improve to 10-2 on the year Wednesday night.
Aaron Civale becomes the first pitcher in the Majors to reach 10 wins this season.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) June 17, 2021
The bullpen also did its job, even if things got a bit interesting with Bryan Shaw on the mound.