Aug 5, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta (11) takes the ball from starting pitcher Zach McAllister (34) during a pitching change in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Is there any possibility that this could get worse? No, don't answer that question.
Another horrible outing for an Indians starter. Another poor day at the plate for the offense. Add in a crucial defensive miscue, and a double play to end the game in which the batter barely left the batter's box. The Indians right now are governed by Murphy's Law.
Once upon a time, the Indians had the lead. They loaded the bases in the first inning with nobody out against Scott Diamond, but only pushed one run across, and that run scored on a Carlos Santana double play, continuing the Tribe's season-long inability to hit with the bases loaded.
Zach McAllister had retired the Twins in the first inning without allowing a run, a mark that unfortunately has been rare on this brutal streak. But he too would succumb to the starters' curse in the second inning, thanks mostly to a Jason Kipnis error. Josh Willingham blasted a home run to start the inning (rubbing salt into the wound, as the Indians were supposedly one of the finalists to land him last winter), followed by a solo shot by Justin Morneau. That gave the Twins the lead, but it looked like that would be all McAllister would give up, as he retired the next two batters after Ryan Doumit doubled. He would walk Jamey Carroll, then get Denard Span to hit a dribbler to second base. Jason Kipnis fielded it cleanly but made a wide throw, and the Twins scored their third run of the inning. It wouldn't stop there.They would score 7 more runs in the inning for a nice round total of 10, and the game was not only over, but over in as embarrassing a fashion as possible.
On a side note, McAllister still has a good ERA, but he's given up an alarming amount of unearned runs. Now by definition unearned runs are not considered a pitcher's responsibility, but a starter's task is to minimize these as much as possible so the team has a better chance of winning. With tonight's total of 7 unearned runs, he's allowed 18 on the season. That's way too many.
At this point, you have to conclude that the streak itself is having an effect on the team, especially after Sunday's loss. These are human beings, and any confidence that was there 10 days ago is long gone.
The franchise record, as mentioned by YDW in the game thread, is 12. That's just two losses away, and increasingly probable.