Jul 31, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Derek Lowe is relieved by manager Manny Acta (not shown) in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
First things first: Derek Lowe has most likely made his last appearance with the Indians. I'd be shocked if he's still on the team by game-rime tomorrow, as the Indians need to remove a player from the 40-man roster to make room for Lars Anderson. Not counting tonight's start, he was an ERA of 8.07 since May 26th, which encompasses 11 starts. And tonight's disaster only makes those numbers worse. The Indians have already removed Josh Tomlin from the rotation, and it looks like they'll have to promote another starter from Columbus for Sunday's game in Detroit. Lowe had a good run early in the season, but think that's all the Indians were going to get out of him, and it's time to cut the cord.
But perhaps even more disconcerting was the offensive attack against a starter that was struggling early in the game. Luke Hochevar pitched six innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, but for most of the early innings, it looked like he and Lowe were in a contest to see who could get pulled from the game first. Lowe won the contest, getting the hook in the third inning, but Hochevar settled down, only making the Royals bullpen (already short thanks to the trade of Jonathan Broxton earlier in the day) throw three innings. The Indians have scored more than three runs in a game just three times since the All-Star Break, and although the starting pitching has been a big problem, so too has the lineup.