CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez has had quite the offensive surge over the past six weeks, but if there is one part of the game in which he has struggled as of late, it is on the base paths.
Ramirez has been thrown out four times while running the bases, including twice at home plate, over the last week, and the American League’s starting third baseman for next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game cites a pregame beverage choice for his issues.
“So what’s happening is I’m drinking a little bit too much coffee,” Ramirez told the media through translator Anna Bolton after the Indians’ 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres at Progressive Field Thursday. “I’m going to have to tell Miguel to stop making too much coffee because it’s making me a little crazy.”
In the Thursday win, the Indians added two runs onto their advantage in the bottom of the third inning.
Following a walk and single to start the frame, Ramirez loaded the bases when he reached on an error charged to the pitcher. Then, after an RBI sacrifice fly and another walk, center fielder Bradley Zimmer lifted a sacrifice fly of his own to left, which scored Edwin Encarnacion. However, Ramirez got thrown out at third base for the final out of the inning.
The Indians continued with the response runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Padres relievers Jose Torres and Kevin Quackenbush.
Catcher Yan Gomes led off with a solo home run to center field, and second baseman Jason Kipnis followed with a ground-rule double to center field. Later, Kipnis scored on a double to right field from Encarnacion, and Ramirez followed with an RBI single to center before being thrown out attempting to get to second base on the play.
“We had all kinds of guys wondering if he made the ‘All-Invisible’ team or something,” Indians interim manager Brad Mills said. “Then, we were thinking about measuring the bases, making sure they were 90 feet and not 95 because it just seemed like he was…
“You want a guy to be aggressive and take the extra base. When it starts adding up, and obviously, you’re not swinging the bat like he is, it becomes an issue. At the same time, being thrown out on a consistent basis, that’s not exactly (good). We want to try and be under control a little bit more.”
Although Ramirez has struggled on the bases lately, he has done anything but at the plate.
Over his last 22 games, Ramirez is hitting .448 with eight home runs, 14 doubles, three triples, 27 runs scored and 18 RBI. Additionally, during that stretch, Ramirez has 14 multi-hit games and eight three-hit performances.
Ramirez went three for five with one home run and three RBI in the win Thursday, and his 14 three-hit games lead all of Major League Baseball this season.
Earlier in the week, Ramirez became the first Indians player ever to twice have home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game in a single season.
Over 83 games this season, Ramirez has collected 105 hits in 318 at-bats (.330 batting average), including 48 for extra bases (27 doubles, five triples, 16 home runs). Ramirez has driven in 45 runs, scored 60 and drawn 27 walks against 39 strikeouts.
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