Zimmer looks to guide Indians to series win over Angels
CLEVELAND -- Bradley Zimmer, whose rookie season continues to excite the Indians and their fans, will be in center field again Wednesday night when Cleveland hosts the Los Angeles Angels in the second game of a three-game series.
"Everybody talks about his tools. He can show all of them in a number of ways," Indians manager Terry Francona said after Zimmer put on a dominating performance in an 11-7, 11-inning win over the Angels on Tuesday night. "It's pretty exciting to watch."
Zimmer was 3-for-5 with a grand slam, two stolen bases and two runs. He also made a spectacular leaping catch against the center field wall to rob Ben Revere of extra bases, a hit that would have driven in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning.
Zimmer, 24, is batting .277 with six home runs and 33 RBIs. He also leads the Indians with 12 stolen bases even though he has only played in 60 of the team's 98 games, having spent the first six weeks of the season at Triple-A Columbus.
Francona enjoys watching Zimmer play for a number of reasons, a big one being his speed, which is useful both on offense and defense.
"To get him on base is really helpful because he can run and you don't automatically have to sacrifice bunt," said Francona, whose team will take a five-game winning streak into play Wednesday.
Both the Angels and Indians have bullpens that are a little gassed from working overtime Tuesday. Los Angeles starter Jesse Chavez only pitched 2 1/3 innings, while Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger was done after 4 1/3 innings.
Each team employed six relievers.
"Our 'pen did a great job, but we'll have to see how we are (Wednesday)," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've got a couple guys out there who could probably use a day off."
The managers will be rooting for lengthy outings from their Wednesday starters, Los Angeles' Ricky Nolasco and Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco.
Through 20 starts this season, Nolasco (4-11, 5.13 ERA) is second in the American League in losses. At one point in May and June, he lost seven consecutive starts.
In his past 12 starts, Nolasco is 2-9 with a 5.67 ERA. He is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA in his past three starts.
Nolasco is coming off a shaky outing against the Boston Red Sox on Friday. In a 6-2 loss, he only lasted four innings, giving up six runs on nine hits.
In seven career appearances, against Cleveland, Nolasco is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA.
Carrasco (10-4, 3.62 ERA) ranks sixth in the American League in strikeouts (130) and is tied for sixth in opponents' batting average (.230).
In four July starts, Carrasco is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA. He got a no-decision in his most recent start, July 19 at San Francisco, where he allowed two runs in six innings.
He has not faced the Angels this season, but in eight career appearances against them, Carrasco is 2-0. His 1.80 ERA vs. Los Angeles is his lowest career mark against any opponent he has opposed as a starter more than once.
Updated July 26, 2017