August 16, 2013
This game was ripe for the taking, but the Indians just didn't seem inclined to take it. The pitching did their part by allowing just three runs, with Justin Masterson going most of the way. They didn't commit an error (though Kipnis' poor relay on Sogard's double could certainly be considered one). And the offense did just about everything except score by getting 17 men on base. But still, the Indians lost.
The game did not start well. Four batters into his start, Masterson fell behind 2-0 when he hung a slider to Yoenis Cespedes. But he wouldn't allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, and again that came with two outs in the inning. In between those four hits, he allowed just three hits in six innings. Justin struck out four batters total, but really had his sinker working, inducing 12 groundouts. This loss was certainly not Masterson's fault.
The fault for this loss lies with the inability of the offense to get that big hit with two outs. That generally hasn't been a problem this year, as the Indians have been one of baseball's best teams with runners in scoring position. But tonight they just couldn't get it done. Asdrubal Cabrera, who has been moved to sixth in the order, went 0-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base. Michael Brantley, who normally is money with a runner in scoring position, had two hits and a walk on the night but left four men on base. Carlos Santana went 1-for-3 with two walks but left three men on base. Etcetera, etcetera.There were some loud outs (Brantley's line drive to end the fifth with the bases loaded, for instance), but there were also some very poor outs made in crucial situations.
The Indians tied the game in the seventh on Nick Swisher's one-out single. And they later loaded the bases, but Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Masterson retired the first two batters, but allowed a two-out single to Stephen Vogt. Then Eric Sogard hit a double down the right field line. Drew Stubbs did a good job digging the ball out in the corner and made a strong throw to Jason Kipnis, but Kipnis' relay to the play was up the third base line, and Vogt scored easily. Now, had the offense scored runs commensurate with their hits and walks, that miss throw wouldn't have mattered, but when you don't score, those little mistakes loom large.
With the loss, the Indians now sit 4 games behind the A's and 4.5 behind the Rays for the two Wild Card spots. They also missed an opportunity to overtake Baltimore, who lost at home to Colorado. They also lost a chance to gain 1.5 games on the Tigers. They also now only lead the Royals by a half-game. And thanks to Mark Reynolds, the Yankees are only 1.5 games behind the Indians in the Wild Card race.
Roll Call (32 Commenters)
|17||new zealand tribe fan||7|
|26||Denver Tribe Fan||2|
|29||Joe M Fox||2|