After Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Royals at Kaffuman Stadium, the Indians had rave reviews for starter Yordano Ventura.
Ventura, who made his major-league debut, allowed one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two. "He's got pretty special stuff,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I don't know what the hell is going on at Triple-A, guys were getting hits off him, but that was dominating stuff. At least we made him work to the point they took him out. ... That was impressive.”
Cleveland first baseman Nick Swisher was asked what made Ventura so tough to face.
"Other than he was throwing 100 mph?” Swisher asked. “You've never seen a guy. You get scouting reports, but those aren't always right. ... He really went out there, did a good job. Obviously, plus fastball, he was using his cutter a lot more than we expected. But, hey, we'll just be ready for the next time.”
I asked Swisher to elaborate on facing Ventura.
“It was hard to pick up that release point today,” Swisher said. “He’s kind of a short-armed guy. What is he 19 years old?”
Actually, Ventura is 22, but he does look young.
Swisher also spoke glowingly about how a Royals-Indians series in mid-September was impacting the playoff race. A year ago, the Royals lost 90 games and the Indians lost 94.
“The one thing that I’m so happy about coming over to the Central, you’re seeing teams make steps,” Swisher said. “Look at where the Indians and the Royals were last year compared to where we are now. Just in general, the Central is making itself better by bringing in guys like Shields and guys like Wade Davis and stuff like that. We’re both making strides. We’re both just trying not to be a flash in the pan, we’re trying to make this something that can stick around.
“You look around our lineup, we’ve got a lot of guys under contract, a lot of young guys and a lot of guys who are going to be here a while. We need to keep this camaraderie going and we’ve got a pretty good shot.”