The Cleveland Indians are lucky to have so many games against the Kansas City Royals every season.
Need to stop a painfully long losing streak?
The Royals coming to town can help that.
The Indians took home a much-needed win Thursday on a Franmil Reyes walk-off blast.
The home run was exhilarating and it was the perfect night given the packed house at Progressive Field.
But Bradley was only one of the main stars of the night, with the other being Triston McKenzie.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 10, 2021
McKenzie Has His Breakthrough
McKenzie was in a tough spot near the end of May.
The Indians wanted to send him to Triple-A Columbus, but he was needed in Cleveland out of necessity with all the injuries.
But the month of June finally allowed McKenzie to go work on his game and that decision looks like a great one by the front office.
After months of struggling with walks, McKenzie only allowed one Friday night to the Royals.
That came in seven scoreless innings of work that also saw him post nine strikeouts and allow one single hit.
This is the McKenzie Indians fans have been waiting to see and the version the front office has been expecting to see as well.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 10, 2021
Should we expect to see this McKenzie every five days?
It may still be too early for that.
But not allowing free passes is his key to success and he succeeded in that venture Friday.
He also threw 57 strikes on 85 total pitches.
That is the pounding of the zone we need to see from the right-hander every time he takes the mound.
Bradley Proving His Value
Isn’t it nice to have Bradley playing in an everyday role at first base?
After watching Jake Bauers struggle daily, Indians fans are seeing the potential of Bradley every single day.
He has a home run in both games against the Royals so far and his walk-off proved he can get things done in the clutch.
That is a tough group for any opposing pitcher, especially given the way Reyes and Bradley are mashing the ball as of late.
So many fans took to social media to seek someone to blame for the long losing streak.
Ultimately, the Indians just need to get healthy to have a shot at the postseason.
Zach Plesac made his return Thursday in an Indians win.
McKenzie, while not injured, also served as a return of sorts in his big start Friday.
The way Reyes has been hitting proves how big his absence was as well.
A series with the Royals is a great way to get back on track, both in the standings and on an emotional level.