Predictable panic following Indians season opener

Cleveland manages just two hits while being blanked by Twins

Mike 'Chico' Bormann
March 29, 2019 - 8:51 am
Mar 28, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Brad Miller (17) throws to first base in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians 2-0. Mandatory Cr

© David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

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Well, that didn't take long.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins needed only 2 hours and 18 minutes to dispose of the Cleveland Indians, shutting down the Tribe 2-0 to open the 2019 season.

Fans on Twitter needed roughly half that time to sound alarms and blow off more steam than Jose Berrios and Corey Kluber were delivering toward home plate for much of the early evening on Thursday. 

And it was all fairly predictable

Kluber was dominant through six innings before surrendering a two-run double to Marwin Gonazlez in the seventh. The two-time Cy Young winner retired the first fourteen men he faced and would need only 79 pitches on the day, but it wasn't enough.

Matching Kluber's brilliance was Berrios, the 24-year-old righthander who will more than likely find himself in plenty of Cy Young conversations before he calls it a career. Berrios toyed with an overmatched Indians lineup through 7.2 innings, allowing a measley two hits and a walk while striking out ten. Taylor Rogers fanned three of the four Tribe hitters he faced to finish off the win.

Meanwhile, back in Cleveland, the panic parade was in full swing on social media.

On the heels of owner Paul Dolan's inflammatory comments regarding payroll, along with viewing tips for when SS Francisco Lindor is eventually healthy, Indians fans were not lacking for fuel to add to their fire. 

But they got it anyway.

A utility infielder, (Gonzalez) whose name was tossed around as a potential free-agent acquisition, was responsible for all the damage done to the Tribe Thursday. Gonzalez made it sting even more with Eric Stamets and Brad Miller (replacing Lindor and 2B Jason Kipnis, who were out with injuries) combining to whiff four times in five at-bats. 

An outfield that left Goodyear with more questions than answers, did nothing to put minds at ease tallying six strikeouts on the day. Tyler Naquin was responsible for half of those batting out of the three-hole.

As if that wasn't enough to send those with pitchforks sprinting to their keyboards, former Indians Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion each homered for their new clubs, putting the final touches on a day ripe for panic and overreaction.

Plenty that could go wrong, seemingly did go wrong for the Indians in Minnesota to start the season. Some would argue they could see this coming from miles away. Others might remind you that a baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. Either way, we're off and running with baseball in 2019.

Try to enjoy the ride.