Opening day has now come and gone, and the 2021 Cleveland Indians looked to make some noise from the start. But the opening series did not go as planned, as the offense lacked its firepower in the first two games; but the bats woke up in the final hour to finish the series with a win.
Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the series as a whole:
2021 Cleveland Indians: Game One
The opening game for the Indians this season gave fans a major flashback to 2007 when Cleveland had their “Snow-pening Day” at the Jake. While other teams enjoyed beautiful weather to begin their season, the Indians and Tigers had to deal with mother nature, and play in winter weather conditions.
The winter weather did not seem to bother Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera took the crown for the first home run of the 2021 season, as he hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Tigers an early lead. The scoring continued in the second, as outfielder Jacoby Jones doubled to make it 3-0.
Despite a rough two innings, Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber settled in and managed to go six innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts.
But it was Matthew Boyd who stole the show on Thursday. Boyd tossed five and two-thirds shutout innings, giving up three hits. Even though he racked up only two strikeouts, Boyd found ways to cause trouble for the Tribe by forcing his defense to make plays.
After the second inning, both teams went through a cold spell on offense. Neither were able to string hits together until the ninth, after a two-run homer from Roberto Perez. Unfortunately, the surge of offense came too late, and the Indians would drop the first game of 2021 by a final of 3-2.
If you were worried about how the Indians and Jose Ramirez would be for the rest of the season, listen to what longtime Cleveland Broadcaster Bruce Drennan had to say about game one.
2021 Cleveland Indians: Game Two
Game two showed more promise, as the Indians would not have to play in a winter wonderland, but rather a balmy 50 degrees.
But no matter the weather, the Tigers’ offense once again started the game hot, scoring two runs in the first inning.
Unlike the first game, Cleveland quickly answered back with a solo home run from newly acquired Eddie Rosario. And after a first-inning hiccup, Zach Plesac would find his groove and finish the game with two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work. The Indians pitching was overshadowed, however, by the Tigers’ staff, as veteran starter Julio Teheran would only give up one run in five innings.
Both teams remained in a deadlock until the seventh inning, when reliever Nick Wittgren came in for Cleveland and proceeded to allow three runs to allow Detroit to pull away. The Indians tried to answer back with a sacrifice fly from Rosario once again, but this would be the only run they would see the rest of the game.
Rosario carried the Tribe at the plate on Friday, as he would finish the day with a perfect 1-1 with two walks and two RBIs. With no other help, the Indians dropped game two, 5-2.
2021 Cleveland Indians: Game Three
Game three started off similar for the Tigers, as they answered back from Eddie Rosario’s RBI single with a home run to begin the game. The Tigers would collect one more for the rest of the game, as Aaron Civale would dominate Detroit. He would go seven innings; allowing only a trio of runs on two hits.
This strong performance looked like it would go to waste, as Cleveland failed to take a lead, But, this would all “Chang” in the seventh inning.
The Indians offense exploded, as Yu Chang started the rally by knocking in two runs off a single. This was followed up with a two-run bomb from Jordan Luplow. Suddenly, the Indians were once again on top.
The near-perfect day was completed with Emmanuel Clase pitching in the ninth and putting the league on notice with his electric arm.
The Indians would finish the opening series on a high note, as they would go home with a 9-3 victory. They begin their home opener on Apr 5 against the Kansas City Royals.
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