The Cleveland Indians need Franmil Reyes in the lineup on a daily basis.
That was made apparent Thursday night when the Kansas City Royals decided to issue a walk to Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The score was tied 4-4 and the Royals didn’t want to pitch to Ramirez, thus opting to take their shot against Reyes with two outs and two runners on.
He proceeded to do this:
Needed it.#OurCLE | #Windians pic.twitter.com/vCjIP8xtAz
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 9, 2021
Silly, silly Royals.
The win kept the Indians above the .500 mark and finally ended what was a miserable nine-game losing streak.
Reyes’ presence in the lineup was the key.
Indians Need Their Big Bat
The ideal plan heading into the 2021 season was to have Ramirez, Reyes, and Eddie Rosario form the heart of the order.
Well, when that plan was in place Rosario was struggling.
Once he did begin to heat up, Reyes was out with his own injury.
Now Reyes is back and Rosario is out on the injured list.
Are you keeping up?
The injury bug has been brutal, but losing Reyes was a terrible blow to the lineup and put all the pressure on Ramirez.
No one player in baseball can carry a lineup on their own, and Thursday’s game proved why you need at least two top bats on any given night.
If the Royals had walked Ramirez to pitch to, say, Bobby Bradley, the results would likely have been much different.
Reyes returned July 2 and now has three home runs in his last three games.
He also has nine total RBIs in that span as well.
The second star on offense is back and the Indians were finally able to capitalize Thursday night.
Some More Sense Of Normalcy
Wasn’t it nice to see Zach Plesac back on the mound?
Zach Plesac on how it felt to be back on the mound for the @Indians
"It was awesome. I’m so glad to be back, you know, it’s a blessing that I’m able to pitch and everything’s good"#OurCLE | @DreKnott pic.twitter.com/Gz6J61EPDc
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) July 9, 2021
The right-hander did allow three earned runs in four innings of work, but he was on a pitch limit and still did enough to keep it close.
The bullpen seemed inspired as well, as four pitchers combined for five innings of one-run baseball.
It is easy for fans to get frustrated with how the team was playing during the long losing streak.
But it remains a minor miracle the streak wasn’t longer given all the absences on the roster.
Sometimes it seems like there is a new serious injury to discuss every single day.
Getting both Reyes and Plesac back is huge and next up will hopefully be returns by Rosario, Aaron Civale, and Shane Bieber.
The young roster has kept the record near .500 right before the All-Star break.
If the front office wants to make a move or two to help the roster out, all the impending returns could mean the playoff hunt remains on in 2021.
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