MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 8: Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on September 8, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images)
This score belies how bad the pitching was.
Zach McAllister was done by the third inning, and it wasn't because he was that wild or throwing a bunch of pitches down the middle; it was because he just couldn't put hitters away. Of the 87 pitches he threw, none of them missed a bat; either the pitch was taken, or contact was made. This from a pitcher who came into the game with an 8.2 SO/9 rate, and who generally gets whiffs on 10% of the pitches that he throws. Perhaps he was tipping his pitches, or being predictable with his attack, but it was a bizarre outing. After throwing more than 50 pitches in the third inning, the Indians had to take him out; throwing that many pitches, if only for precautionary reasons.
McAllister said he was a "little bit" surprised to get the hook after three innings.
"I knew I threw a lot of pitches that inning previous," he said. "Just something I tried to talk him [Acta] into letting me go back out, but he said that was it. You can't do anything about it other than try to go and pitch better.
With this being September, and McAllister already over his innings total from last year, taking him out so early was the right thing to do; 50 pitches from any pitcher in an inning is a dangerous amount to throw.
Minnesota starter Cole De Vries was nibbling all night, but it worked for him, for the Indians were swinging at those marginal pitches and making weak contact. After the first two batters of the game reached (Choo single, Kipnis walk), the only other chance the Indians to had to score came in the second inning, when there were two runners and two outs for Ezequiel Carrera. But Carrera grounded out to end the inning, and the Indians would get one hit the rest of the night (a Choo 6th inning single).
Side note: if Ezequiel Carrera isn't going to take a walk, he's not going to last long in the majors, for he's got to maximize his on-base percentage in order to take advantage of his speed. He's walked only 5 times in almost 100 plate appearances this season.
The Tribe bullpen allowed one run the rest of the way, quite an accomplishment given who was pitching. Chris Seddon allowed a run in his 1.1 innings, but the Twins were held scoreless by Scott Maine (making his Indians debut), Frank Herrmann, Tony Sipp, and Scott Barnes.
The Indians didn't fare any better against the Twins bullpen, for they would go in order in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.