Welcome to "What the Hell Happened in Cleveland Sports Last Night?" a brand new segment following a night of particularly interesting happenings in Cleveland sports. Today, we look at Josh Gordon's big return and the Indians shushing the haters.
The Return of Josh Gordon
It had been 615 days since Josh Gordon last appeared on a football field wearing a Browns uniform, and ever longer since he'd wound up in the end zone. So despite it being preseason, the very image of Gordon lining up on the outside against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made an otherwise terrible Browns performance worth watching.
On the Browns very first possession, Gordon burned Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes down the right sideline to snag a 44-yard bomb from Robert Griffin III, reminding us all that he's not so much a football player as he is a Greek God in a jersey.
Then, as the second quarter wound down and the Browns offense flopped around like a damn Magikarp out of water, Gordon went up and over Grimes for his first touchdown since 2013, snaring a slightly underthrown pass from Griffin for six. All the sudden, a pretty dismal offensive performance from the Browns turned into a "god damn, I forgot how good Josh Gordon is" type of night.
There's plenty to be worried about; the Browns defense hemorrhaging yards and points, the offensive line attempting to get RG3 killed, etc., but simply having Gordon back on the field can erase a half of terrible football with one throw. And that' something to get hyped about. Ya know, in Week 5.
The Indians' Offense is Back With a Vengeance
After a dismal three-game series against the Oakland Athletics, who play in a cave full of depression and unusually cold August weather, the Cleveland Indians strolled into Texas for a big series against the Rangers with fans ready to pounce at any moment. Despite still being in first place in AL Central, and despite being the only team in baseball to not lose more than three games in a row this season, people were very #madonline. In a season consisting of 162 games, the overreactions of baseball fans to three games is truly undefeated.
After dropping the first game of the series when Josh Tomlin threw a handful of Italian meatballs to Rangers hitters, the Indians shushed the haters in a big way with a 12-1 route on Friday night behind stellar pitching (again) from Corey Kluber and an offense that stirred out of its four-game slumber.
After taking two of three from the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays last weekend, another series win against the Rangers would be a big deal for the Tribe in cementing themselves as a legitimate playoff contender. It might even stop people from freaking out after two losses! Or not. But one can dream.