After taking two out of three from the Yankees and winning on Thursday in about as dramatic a fashion as you can, the Indians laid eggs in each of their final three games of their homestand. All phases of the game were lacking over the weekend, whether it be starting pitching, defense, or hitting with runners on base.
Carlos Carrasco, like in his last start, gave up a big inning early in the game. The Jays got on the board in the third when Eric Thames homered with a man on base. If Carrasco keeps the damage that inning to just two runs, the game might have turned out differently, but he allowed three more runs, all with two outs. He would be pulled after the inning, probably for a couple reasons: one, he had had three very taxing innings in a row (including a 35-pitch third inning), and two, with the All-Star Break coming up, Manny Acta could use the entire bullpen. Carrasco had command problems, falling behind often to a very talented lineup, and hung a lot of sliders in hitter's counts.
The offense had opportunities, but like in the previous games in this series, couldn't get that final hit to cap a rally. They loaded the bases in the first inning with one out, but Brett Cecil got out of the inning without allowing a run to score. Cecil was making his third start after returning to the majors, and wasn't exactly on his game; his velocity was several mph below his usual level, and he allowed nine base runners (six hits, three walks) in his six innings of work. The Indians scored one run while Cecil was in the game, and that run was unearned.
The Indians used most of their relievers today, and all but Rafael Perez pitched well. Perez, with second base open and two outs in the sixth, made a mistake on the plate to Jose Bautista, and Bautista hit a two-run double down the left field line. The Indians would get no closer than 5-1, but even so, that kind of mistake can't happen when facing a hitter like Bautista.
With Detroit's 2-1 victory, the Indians end the unofficial first half of the season a half-game out of first, and with a record of 47-42. It's a disappointing close to the first half of the season, but they're very much in the divisional race. I think all of us would have taken this outcome had it been offered us at the beginning of the season.
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