The middle of September is always the toughest time to follow a baseball team that's out of the race. You're already a couple weeks into September baseball with its seemingly random lineups and players that years later you'll forget ever played for the Indians. And it's not quite close enough to end to trigger early baseball withdrawal pains (because bad baseball is still better than no baseball).
But the good thing about this series is that the Indians are facing a team that is still very much interested in winning games, for although the Rangers have a lead in the AL West, it's close enough (3 games) so that there's still a sense of urgency. So you can get a decent sense of how well the Russ Canzlers and Cord Phelpses of the roster are playing, because they'll be facing the Rangers' front-line starters.
The Indians are very likely going to pick up Ubaldo Jimenez's 2013 option after the season, but it seems that he's making it as difficult a decision as possible, given that the option is just $5.75M, the type of salary a fourth-tier free agent starting pitcher gets. He was out of the game early again, leaving after the fifth inning and 93 pitches. He add to his league-high wild pitch count by uncorking #16 on the season, and walked four more, running his total to 89 (which somehow doesn't lead the league). To be fair, three of the five runs were unearned thanks to Russ Canzler's bizarre error to lead off the second; the Rangers would score four runs that inning, and that difficult inning would limit how long Jimenez would be able to go.
Cody Allen would relieve Jimenez in the sixth, and he'd give up another run, the second straight outing in which he's allowed at least a run. Scott Barnes would then toss .2 of an inning before giving way to Joe Smith. All three pitchers (Smith of course, along with the two youngsters) should be in next year's bullpen, so this usage might be a preview of a typical 2013 game.
The Indians would make the game competitive, as they would score twice in the eighth inning to cut the Texas lead to 6-4, and brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of Michael Brantley, which is about as good an opportunity as you can get these days. But Brantley was frozen by a Tanner Scheppers breaking pitch, and the Tribe would go meekly in the ninth against the revitalized Joe Nathan.
The Indians now have themselves a four-game losing streak, but that's just a poseur of a losing streak. It's barely a losing streak at all for this team.
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Name # of Posts gte619n 29 johnf34 19 darkmenace 16 westbrook 14 Joel D 13 mtg8 8 V-Mart Shopper 8 jhon 7 Ryan 6 Brad D 5 JulioBernazard 4 kennesawmountainwahoo 4 palcal 3 Heavysoviet 2 JimmyAB 1 bmgiblinindians 1 Brick. 1 Matt in LA 1 7foot3 1