July 22, 2013
This makes three times in the last four games that the Indians haven't scored more than three runs, and none of those games were exactly against great pitchers. Last night the Indians were stifled by Aaron Harang, who in his last start was hammered for seven runs in five innings. Harang only struck out two, but he's a sinkerball pitcher, so the Indians were hitting weak grounders instead of swinging and missing once the game got into the middle innings. Harang threw just five pitches to get through the sixth, and just six pitches to get through the seventh. The only damage the Indians were able to do against Harang (and as it turned out, any other Seattle pitcher) came when Nick Swisher hit a solo homer over the drawn-in fence in the first inning. The Indians left 14 runners on base.
The Indians had a very good opportunity to score a second run in the fourth after Carlos Santana doubled with one out in the fourth and went to third on a wild pitch. Jason Giambi had an opportunity to hit one of his sacrifice flies, but instead hit an infield popup, and Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out to end the threat. The Mariners tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a Kendrys Morales homer, and took the lead the following inning on a Mike Zunino blast.
After the Mariners took the lead, the Tribe offense went into hibernation until the ninth. Michael Bourn was hit by Charlie Furbush to start the eighth but was picked off later that inning in an attempt to steal second. The Indians got a runner to third base with two outs in the ninth, but after Giambi walked, Chisenhall flew out harmlessly to end the threat and the game. There would be no miraculous comeback this for the Indians.
Ubaldo Jimenez didn't pitch that badly, allowing two runs over 5.2 innings against an improved Seattle offense. He walked four, but none of those came around to score. He was pulled in the sixth when Mike Zunino, who had taken him deep earlier, came up with a runner on second with two outs. Francona called on Chen-Chang Lee to get Zunino, which he did. Lee will be optioned out today when the Indians activate Zach McAllister off the DL meaning that Rich Hill and Bryan Shaw get temporary reprieves.
Now the Indians find themselves 2.5 games out of the division race and 4.5 games out of the Wild Card. This was supposed to be a relatively easy interlude before the schedule got more difficult, but they haven't taken advantage of it, losing the series in Minnesota and dropping the first game in Seattle.
AL Central Standings
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||59||41||.590||0||Won 6|
|New York||52||47||.525||6.5||Lost 2|
|Los Angeles||46||51||.474||11.5||Lost 2|
|Kansas City||45||51||.468||12||Lost 2|
(updated 7.23.2013 at 5:49 AM EDT)
Roll Call (35 Commenters)
|18||Mr. Bad Example||9|