Some good things happened, but the Indians lost anyway.
I suppose that's a goal worth aspiring for this season, certainly better than "Indians lost, and many bad things happened." This team has not evolved to the point where losses are by definition bad because the goal is to win games. No, this team's goal is to develop players so that some time in the future we can obsess over things like wins and losses, and not have to see Trevor Crowe in the lineup. But until that future date, a loss and good things (and Crowe) can peacefully coexist.
Mitch Talbot grows on you. His stuff isn't overly impressive (though it's decent), but the more you watch him, the more you see his ability to utilize what he has. The league isn't going to really solve him, since he has multiple ways to attack a hitter. Normally it takes a couple years for a pitcher to reach this stage, but thanks to Tampa's pitching depth, Talbot has this ability as a rookie. Mitch struggled to get out of the first, but managed to get Josh Hamilton to hit into a double play to limit the damage. After that, he was in control of things until the fifth, when Michael Young hit an opposite-field Arlington-aided home run to tie the game at three. He'd give up the lead in the sixth, when Julio Borbon singled in Matt Treanor. That would be his last hitter.
Jayson Nix hit his fourth home run of the series, continuing his hot streak since joining the Indians. In a season like this, and especially with the injury to Asdrubal Cabrera, it's a perfect time to give a guy like Nix, who hasn't been given an unbroken string of starts before, a chance to see if he can be major-league starter.
Both bullpens would keep the score 4-3 over the last 3+ innings. Tony Sipp threw two scoreless innings, striking out two without giving up a base runner. Manny Acta would get thrown out of the game after reacting (in the dugout) to a check-swing call with two outs in the ninth. Manny had this to say about the ejection after the game:
"It’s a shame," Acta said. "Everybody’s talking about pace of the game. Here I get thrown out for taking my hat off and I have to go 150 feet (to argue) and delay the game. I know they’re human, but I’ve been doing rebuilding jobs for four years and these kids don’t get the benefit of the doubt."
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Jayson Nix||.087||Mitch Talbot||-.244|
|Tony Sipp||.084||Andy Marte||-.190|
|Joe Smith||.084||Trevor Crowe||-.148|