Cal Quantrill has been thrust into the Cleveland Indians starting rotation on a full-time basis because of the injuries seen throughout the year.
He struggled at first with the new role and allowed a combined 10 earned runs in his final two starts of June.
But since then he has begun to settle in and picked up his second win of the season Saturday afternoon in Oakland.
Cal Quantrill, Painting. 🖌️🎨 pic.twitter.com/dKnFyTBoZf
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 17, 2021
One sequence in particular proved he has taken that next step in terms of his confidence and overall abilities.
A Scary Fifth Inning
The Indians took a 2-1 lead over the A’s in the top of the fifth and Quantrill was back on the mound in the bottom half of the inning.
First came a single, followed by two beaned batters to load the bases.
That right there may have been enough for Terry Francona to pull his starter, but the veteran manager remained patient and waited to see if Quantrill could get out of it himself.
He forced an Elvis Andrus double-play, only to issue a walk and load the bases again.
But Quantrill never cracked, and got out of the inning without allowing a single run.
He left after the inning with five innings of one-run work to his name and five strikeouts.
This was a fantastic outing and especially so considering the competition.
The right-hander allowed three earned runs in both of his past two starts, but was able to lock in and avoid that usual mistake that dooms any young pitcher.
The fifth inning proved he has the necessary stuff to get out of jams, instead of just totally breaking down and collapsing.
Some Exciting Insurance
We have written here in the past about how the San Diego Padres basically restocked the Indians roster via two separate trades.
Quantrill came over in last year’s Mike Clevinger trade, and that allowed him to join up with Franmil Reyes, who came over from San Diego in the 2019 Trevor Bauer deal.
Both former Padres were huge Saturday as Quantrill left with one run to his name, and Reyes provided a huge insurance home run in the top of the eighth.
REYES MOONSHOT 🚀 @Indians | #OurCLE pic.twitter.com/D46jHlrR40
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) July 17, 2021
That blast made it 3-1 and was a big one as James Karinchak allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 3-2 Indians victory.
The Padres are doing great things this year, but it sure is nice to have some key players come over in trades for two pitchers who aren’t even playing currently, albeit for completely separate reasons.
Bauer never even went to San Diego either, as it was a three-team deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Indians are missing a ton of talent and different individuals need to step up on a daily basis.
Both Quantrill and Reyes proving they are deserving full-time guys is a great sight, and the win only makes it sweeter.
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