Aaron Civale Throws Complete Game for Indians

Aaron Civale

Indians 6, Pirates 1

The Cleveland Indians squared off against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday. It was Game Two in a three-game set against both teams. Aaron Civale got the start for Cleveland while Steven Brault got the nod for Pittsburgh.

Once again, the Indians offense showed some signs of life. First baseman Carlos Santana hit a solo home run. In addition, both second baseman Cesar Hernandez and outfielder Domingo Santana each got a double. However, with runners in scoring position (RISP), the team went 2-for-10 and left a total of six men on base.

With that being said, the true star of the night was the aforementioned Aaron Civale. Civale went the distance and tossed a complete game on 109 pitches. Civale allowed one run on five hits, while striking out six Pirates hitters. Following tonight’s outing, he now has a 2.91 ERA over five starts on the year along with a .236 Opponent Batting Average Against and a 8.47 K/9 rate.

Diving Deeper into Aaron Civale’s Start

With both Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac down at the team’s alternate training site, the Indians are more than pleased when one of their starters throws a game like Civale did Wednesday night. After all, all season long starting pitching has been the hallmark of the team. The luxury that Cleveland has is that their rotation is deep enough that guys like Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko can be plugged into the back of it and provide valuable depth.

During Wednesday’s start, Civale relied on a total of six different pitches. His most effective was his sinker which he threw 36% of the time. It resulted in a total of 12 called strikes and averaged a velocity of 92.3 miles per hour (MPH).

Additionally, Civale had his curveball and changeup working very effectively against the Pirates lineup. Civale’s curveball and changeup average a velocity below league average. In total, he recorded nine whiffs with the curveball. He relied on his changeup 17% of the time and had three of those pitches turn into balls in play (BIP).

So far this season, shortstop Kevin Newman leads the Pirates offense with a .275 batting average and he has a .668 OPS. On Wednesday, Newman went 1-4 at the plate with one hit and one strikeout. To date, Newman has seen a total of 53 sinker pitches. Against the sinker ball, which is the primary pitch that Civale relied on during his start, he is batting .200. He has a 6.7% strikeout percentage and a .214 BABIP against that pitch.

Additionally, third baseman Jose Osuna struck out twice at the plate against Civale. One of Osuna’s strikeout came on a sinker while the other came on a cutter. Osuna has not had good luck against the cutter over the past few years. Dating back to the 2018 regular season, he has never had a batting average above .170 on that pitch. So far this year, Osuna has seen a total of six cutters and is batting .000.

Final Thoughts

Following Wednesday’s victory, the Indians secured the series win against the Pirates, and they extended their current win streak to five games. Cleveland will look to their ace Shane Bieber (4-0, 1.30 ERA) to secure the sweep Thursday. Meanwhile, right-hander Trevor Williams (1-3, 3.98 ERA) gets the start for Pittsburgh. First pitch happens at 6:05 EST.

After Thursday’s game, Cleveland heads to back to Progressive Field for a six-game home stand against the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images