Is it already cliché to say this bullpen has set a new low? Although blowing a 7-0 lead, after many other blown leads, doesn't seem as big an outrage as it normally would. You expect this sort of thing from this group.
The whole thing was set up by the starter not being able to get through six innings. Anthony Reyes was perfect his first time through the Rays order, but Tampa Bay hitters caught onto him the second time around. The inning after the Indians built their lead to 7-0, Reyes gave up a leadoff double to B.J. Upton, and eventually three runs. Reyes would stay in the game for another couple innings, but what looked like a blowout turned into a winnable game in that bottom of the fourth, given what the Rays hitters were going to face after Reyes left the game.
Because Reyes couldn't finish the sixth, the Indians were for the rest of the game chasing those extra two outs. Tony Sipp only pitched to one batter, and he walked him. Jensen Lewis finished the sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Rafael Betancourt got out of the jam Lewis created in that inning, but gave up the tying home run in the eighth. The funny (pathetic funny, not ha-ha funny) thing is that normally a team will throw their worst relievers into the ballgame to protect a big lead, and call in their best if the game got too close, while the Indians did the opposite, sending their "best" into the game and when they failed, brought in Luis Vizcaino, a just-signed free agent to pitch the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. The result was predictable.
There's some very nice things happening with the club, especially with the position players. Even the rotation has been (I think) a lot better than it could have been. But the bullpen has turned what could be a decent team into what you currently see in the standings.
Next Up: Pavano vs. Garza, 4:10 PM
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Shin-Soo Choo||.152||Luis Vizcaino||-.357|
|Rafael Betancourt||.064||Jensen Lewis||-.241|
|Grady Sizemore||.044||Matt LaPorta||-.163|