CLEVELAND – OK, Indians fans, it’s time for a collective breath… at least for now.
After the team already saw the injury list grow longer with Shane Bieber and Austin Hedges added this week, the last thing they wanted was to include their most dangerous club on the list. José Ramírez limped off the field in the eighth inning of the Indians’ 11-10 defeat to the Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park after being hit in the lower leg with a 78.5 mph slider by right-footed Kyle Crick. He was only diagnosed with a bruise on his left foot and the team expected him to be fine.
“It’s one of those things where he took it for a couple of minutes and it was really painful,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “When he got to the clubhouse, he was doing well.”
Cleveland medical staff evaluated Ramírez after he fell to his stomach at home plate. After standing up, he limped off the pitch and headed straight into the Indians clubhouse when Ernie Clement replaced him at first base. It is clear how crucial Ramírez is for this formation and losing the bat is certainly not an easy obstacle to overcome. Without a designated hitter at a National League baseball field, the Indians won’t have an option to get him back into play on Saturday, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to formation anyway.
His absence on Friday allowed this young roster to prove, once again, just how resilient he is. The club nearly realized the unlikely, as a 10-point deficit in the sixth quickly became just a game in the eighth.
“I got my juices going, I tell you,” Francona said of the return. “We ask our kids to keep playing always. This is probably the latest example. These are difficult games to win, but as you have seen, we are one shot from perhaps winning that game. Keep playing. Sometimes it’s bad, sometimes we make mistakes. But keep playing “.
Although Ramírez started the Cleveland rally in seventh place with an edge, the lineup was able to persevere even after his departure. After his free pass, the Indians loaded the bases, Josh Naylor and René Rivera each knocked in a singles run, and Cesar Hernandez launched the big blast with his first career grand slam.
“He worked hard to get his club back into swing mode,” Rivera said of Hernandez. “He’s finally showing he can hit and hit with power. I am happy for him. I always cheer for him and I hope he continues to help us score some points. “
Once again, it was up to Ramírez to lead the eighth. It was then that third baseman found himself face down in the dirt, rolling in pain after being hit by a pitch with his left foot. After being removed, the Indians once again loaded the bases and Rivera’s single took home three points – one thanks to a mistake – to suddenly bring the score back to within one point.
Clement did his best to continue this next man mentality that the Indians have been trying to adapt over the past few weeks, extending the ninth inning with a couple of singles, but with the runners in the second and third, the Indians got to 90 feet. from completing the comeback when Bobby Bradley struck to end the match.
And even if the efforts are not reflected in the win column, the club thinks there is still a lot to take away from the performance.
“I think the guys here, we’re tough, man,” Rivera said. “We’re going to go out there and fight innings by innings. I’m not very happy that I didn’t win today, but at least we scored and gave you a good play. We gave them a tough, tough game. We know we can come back and win. I’m happy for the guys here and we hope to be on the other side tomorrow ”.