July 3, 2013
The Indians haven't played a game on the West Coast yet this season, but that hasn't prevented them from playing games lasting deep into the night. Earlier this year the Indians and Rays played a game that lasted until 3 AM, and last Friday's doubleheader ended about 2 AM. Tonight's game started almost three hours late thanks to rain, had a delay due a power outage, and didn't end until 2 AM.
Of late the Indians have played these high-scoring games in which the starters have gone 5-6 innings, there's some late rallies, and then the bullpen slams the door at the end. Tonight that script was followed, except for the fact that Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen didn't play their parts correctly.
Scott Kazmir last time out was outstanding, pitching seven one-hit innings against a very potent Baltimore offense. This time Kazmir looked rather pedestrian, getting hit harder than his final line would indicate. He went just five innings, getting pulled in the sixth after allowing the first two batters to reach. I suppose you could call Kazmir's outing a disappointment if you had the Baltimore gem fresh in your mind, but for the most part we've seen Scott look like he looked tonight: lots of tough innings, some strikeouts, and ultimately a mildly-satisfying piece of work. You're left wanting more, though, knowing that there's a front-end starter in there.
Jason Kipnis got the Indians on the board in the sixth with an inside-the-park homer. Jason went the other way on a Jeremy Guthrie outside fastball, hitting it over Alex Gordon's glove. Gordon fell awkwardly at the base of the left field fence, and his head snapped back to hit the wall. By the time center fielder Lorenzo Cain retrieved the ball, Kipnis had easily ran around the bases. Gordon would walk off the field on his power, but the Royals say that he suffered a possible concussion in addition to a bruised hip. He'll be re-evaluated later today, but I doubt he'll be in the lineup for this afternoon's game.
The Royals stormed back for four runs in the bottom of the sixth off of Scott Kazmir and Bryan Shaw. As mentioned above, Kazmir left the game with two runners on, and Shaw, after striking out Billy Butler, allowed three straight singles, each scoring a run. A throwing/catching error led to another run, though it would be considered earned because the next batter hit what would have been a sacrifice fly.
The Indians came right back, though. After Jeremy Guthrie walked Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes with one out in the seventh, he was pulled, and just like with the Inidians, Royals reliever Will Smith couldn't strand the inherited runners. A Michael Bourn singled plated Raburn, and an Asdrubal Cabrera sacrifice fly scored Gomes. Bourn stole second, but was stranded there when Jason Kipnis lined out to end the inning.
But the Tribe bullpen couldn't keep the Royals off the board. Cody Allen, who looked awful in the first game on Friday, gave up the go-ahead run in the form of an Eric Hosmer home run. Hosmer had looked like Casey Kotchman the first couple month of the season, but now he's resembling the player who broke onto the scene two years ago. That's not good for the Indians and the rest of the AL.
This time the Indians didn't have an answer, going meekly in the eighth and ninth innings. With the loss, the Indians fell back into second place, as earlier that evening the Tigers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays. There's one more game on this 11-game road trip, and it's a doozy, as the Indians will be facing James Shields later today.
AL Central Standings
Roll Call (46 Commenters)
|14||Mr. Bad Example||16|
|16||new zealand tribe fan||14|
|39||The Lame Ranger||1|