Another first: Lindor nets RBI single
CHICAGO -- Francisco Lindor had already made his first at-bat and recorded his first hit before Tuesday's 6-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, but he looked like he had done it several times the way he handled himself.
Lindor looked calm and collected as he hit No. 2 in the Indians' lineup and fielded at shortstop, making his first start this season. He finished 2-for-5 with an RBI, stolen base and scored a run in the win.
"The first two at-bats, I was a little bit anxious," Lindor said. "But I was capable of slowing the game down and just trying to be myself out there the rest of the game. It paid off."
When Lindor went hitless in his first two at-bats he didn't panic or overreact. He sat back on a 2-0 count, waited on the pitch and knocked it into center field. When Chicago hit his way -- seven times, to be exact -- he fielded each one without a hiccup.
"At short, you look up and he's where he's supposed to be," said manager Terry Francona. "He doesn't know these hitters, but when [third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh] tells him something, he's there, and when he doesn't know, he asks. It's fun, and it's going to be a lot of fun to watch his growth."
If anything, Lindor may not be overcoming nervousness so much as he is overcoming excitement. He had his moment of excitement on Sunday, falling while he rounded first base on Sunday.
"He's going to be a huge part of our team, not only this year, but obviously going forward," said starter Trevor Bauer. "We've kind of joked around with him and made fun of him a little bit, and he seems to have taken it right in stride. It's good to see. Hopefully, he continues to feel comfortable around us and perform well and everything goes smoothly."
His transition into the second spot of the lineup on his second day didn't throw Lindor off. At Triple-A Columbus, Lindor often batted second, sometimes leading off, making the transition easy on him.
"I'm very familiar with that spot, but it doesn't matter where I hit in the lineup," he said. "I'm still going to be Francisco Lindor. I've got to do whatever brought me up here."
And given the way he's been playing, he'll look as calm and collected in his first home game at Progressive Field.
"I can't wait to see the fans over there," Lindor said. "I can't wait to play on the field in Cleveland. It feels like I'm home."