The Indians got a fantastic starting pitching performance, but lost the game because the offense declined to show up and John Axford couldn't get through an inning without allowing a home run. No, this is not Sunday's recap, accidentally reposted, things just played out the same Monday night at Progressive Field, as the Tribe fell further back in the AL Central.
Zach McAllister pitched 6.2 shutout innings, striking out 8 while walking only one. It was still a 0-0 game when he exited though, because the lineup never got anything going. Only twice all night did any Indian reach second base, when Michael Brantley doubled with two outs in the 1st inning, and when Carlos Santana surprised all 9,037 in attendance by stealing a base in the 4th. The Tribe managed just three hits all night (two by Mike Aviles). They only struck out three times, but were 3 for 29 on balls in play. Please pray for mercy from the BABIP gods, who seem intent on destroying us all.
The game went to the 10th inning still knotted at zero (making tonight the Tribe's first extra-inning game of the season). It didn't stay tied for long though, as John Axford's second pitch of the night was hit into the right-field seats by Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar. That's no surprise though, because Escobar is a 5'10" power-hitting shortstop, with 4 home runs in 345 career at bats. The last four runs the Indians have allowed have all come on home runs given up by Axford, which is fun. There are many calling for him to be pulled from the closer role, but I wonder how much that really matters, given that the Indians are intent on only scoring many runs once a week.
The Indians are now 20% of the way through their schedule, with a record of 13-19. Solid.
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