The Cleveland Indians had Aaron Civale on the mound Monday night in Chicago, meaning fans felt like it would be the starting pitching we would talk about after the game.
And to credit Civale, he did go 4.2 scoreless innings.
He would have gone further if not for an injury.
The Indians are still gathering info to determine the extent of Aaron Civale’s middle finger injury. They’re planning for him to visit the same hand specialist who has treated Roberto Pérez and Zach Plesac this season.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 22, 2021
More on that in a bit.
But the ultimate positive story from the game has to be the huge home run blasts by Josh Naylor and Bobby Bradley.
Big Hits From Two Young Sluggers
Bradley is playing as advertised since getting called up to replace Jake Bauers at first base.
His solo shot Monday marked his fifth home run so far this year.
But he was not done making his impact felt in the game.
He also came around to score on Naylor’s two-run blast that pushed the lead to 3-0.
We recently published an article looking at future All-Stars on the Indians roster.
Bradley and Naylor were both in the piece, only to have this game against the Cubs.
Fans who are impatient must remember the former is 25 years old and the latter is 24.
They are two very young players who just need to get a full season of work in before any wild judgments are made.
The Concerning Injury
All Indians fans can do now is try not to panic about Civale leaving the game.
It was deemed to be a middle finger injury, which is rather fitting.
Aaron Civale left Monday's game with an injury to the middle finger of his right hand.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) June 22, 2021
The hope is that it is nothing serious, but no one knows so far.
Obviously, the worst-case scenario would be going without Civale, Shane Bieber, and Zach Plesac.
That would turn the Indians pitching staff into basically one big bullpen unit on any given day.
Yet somehow, even with all of this, the Indians are 40-30 on the year.
Oh, and the win has them just two games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division.
At some point this year national writers and power rankers will have to finally see that this Indians club is no fluke.
Injuries occur, and someone else steps in ready to prove the young bunch can hang with anyone.
The Indians now have a 3-0 series lead on the Cubs this season with the fourth and final game set for Tuesday.
It is nice any time the Indians can beat their 2016 foe, especially when it happens at Wrigley Field in front of a packed house.
For all the memories fans made five years ago, Bradley and Naylor launching baseballs into the stands in Chicago may represent the next era of Indians baseball.
In the meantime, let’s hope another young piece in Civale is not out as well.
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