Hi, everyone. My name is USSChoo and I'm a Cleveland Indians baseball fan.
LGT: Hi, USSChoo.
Where to begin...
Watching the this team feels like a horrible, life-sucking addiction. The story of the game should have been Scott Kazmir getting ejected after arguing, rather mildly, balls and strikes in the 2nd. But it isn't. That event should have lead to Oakland emptying their pen and the Indians feasting on relievers, but 3.2 innings of scoreless relief by Dan Otero made sure that wasn't how we'd remember this game.
There is no way around it, we are not a good baseball team right now. The one thing we do moderately well, pitching, isn't even reflected in most traditional stats because our infield defense is horrid. Coming into the game OAK and CLE pitching were nearly identical in FIP but while the OAK staff sported a league best 2.94 ERA the Indians have gone the other way to the tune of a 4.08 ERA. I feel like I need to call up YDW to procure a better adjective to describe the current defense, because there isn't a word in my vocabulary that seems to do it justice. The Indians came into the game, their 43rd on the season, with 40 errors committed in the field. They were slipping off the 162 error pace and that simply would not do, so they tacked on 3 tonight to right the ship. One on Carlos Santana (throwing), one on Asdrubal Cabrera (throwing) which should have been on Santana and, for good measure, the back breaker charged to recently promoted Jesus Aguilar on a failed catch during an attempted double play. I'm sticking with horrid.
The game was decided in the 7th on that very error. Marc Rzepczynski came on to start the inning and quickly worked a ground out and gave up a single. The base runner was erased when Coco Crisp hit a grounder to second baseman Mike Aviles for what, on most teams, would be a sure-fire double play. But Aguilar couldn't handle the throw from Cabera, even though it was right at him. Stop me if this sounds familiar. What happened next, you ask? Just a walk, Rzepczynski being pulled for Bryan Shaw, Josh Donaldson hitting a triple off the top of the wall (that despite the review should have been a home run, in my eyes) and a double by Brandon Moss to drive in Donaldson for good measure. 6-2 Oakland. Ballgame.
Josh Tomlin was Josh Tomlin. He went 6IP, 3ER, 5H, 2K and 1BB. He threw 66% of his pitches for strikes and generally looked like himself. His only rough inning came in the 3rd. With 2 outs in the inning, Josh Donaldson singled in Crisp from 2nd followed by a 2-run HR by Brandon Moss. It was the kind of performance you would love to get every time out from your 5th starter - nothing to write home about but it will keep you in the game. Unless you're pitching for the Cleveland Indians, of course.
The Tribe did all of their meager damage tonight on a passed ball and a sacrifice fly. They managed 7 hits but not a single member of the lineup had more than 1. It isn't just the lack of hits, but the lack of well struck balls. Save for Gomes' double off the RF wall in the 2nd (who would eventually come around to score), not a single hit inspired much in the way of confidence. Only two runs isn't going to get the job done, especially not when you field the ball like this team has. Three times tonight the Indians ended their half of the inning by grounding into a double play. Curiously, after Aguilar was lifted following the error, Jose Ramirez took his PA and manned 2nd, moving Aviles to 3B and Cabrera to 1B. With right handed relievers in the game, why Chisenhall wasn't brought in and Carlos pushed to 1B is beyond me. Ramirez struck out pathetically on 3 pitches and the offense rolled over like a dog playing dead. I can only surmise that Lonnie must have kicked Tito's cat or perhaps ate all his bubble gum. I have no idea anymore. I really don't.
Oh, the lone bright spot? T.J. House finally made his MLB debut in the 9th, throwing 11 pitches and getting all 3 outs via the ground ball.
If you need me, I'll be here after the meeting, raiding the donuts and the
free juice beer.
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