Indians fail to take advantage of scoring opportunities, lose 4-1 to Royals

Ed Zurga

That was a lousy trip to Kansas City.

Game 66: Royals 4, Indians 1

Box Score

Indians fall to 33-33

The Indians were down by 3 runs in the 8th inning, but had the bases loaded with nobody out, after Michael Bourn singled, Lonnie Chisenhall drew a walk, and then Michael Brantley singled. There were a lot of ways the Indians could have tied the game at that point, or at least cut the deficit down. Instead, three batters later, the inning ended without the Tribe having scored a single run. Jason Kipnis struck out looking, Carlos Santana struck out swinging, and David Murphy hit a routine grounder, and that was that.

There had been other chances earlier, with at least one runner in scoring position in the 1st, 3rd, and 6th innings, but a single by Santana in the 6th was the only time the Indians were actually able to capitalize on one of those opportunities, leaving five runners in scoring position on the afternoon.

Baseball is a funny game, in that one night a team can have an historic outburst on offense, scoring 17 runs while multiple significant franchise records are matched, and then less than 48 hours later the offense seems hardly capable of functioning.

On the other end of things, Trevor Bauer did not have his best stuff. He cruised through the first couple innings, but only struck out one batter all game, and in the 3rd and 4th innings, all those balls he allowed to be put into play came home to roost. All three of the runs he allowed came on sacrifice flies, easy plays that wouldn't have been a problem if multiple guys hadn't already hit their way aboard. As is so often the case with this Tribe team, questionable defense also played a role.

You'd be forgiven for thinking there was a typo in the recap, which (for Kansas City's second run) reads: "Escobar scores on sacrifice fly to shortstop." That sounds like the kind of play you read about Cool Papa Bell having made way back when, and maybe someday it will be a part of the legend of Alcides Escobar, who made a very heads up play, taking advantage of Mike Aviles sort of falling down after catching the ball. (You can find video of the play here) Who knows if things would have turned out any differently had that play not happened, but it certainly couldn't have hurt.

I wouldn't say it was a bad game by Bauer, as there weren't a ton of hard-hit balls, and he only issued one free pass, but he was inefficient with his pitches, and (especially if you're going to go deep into counts) you've got to be able to strike more guys out (which Bauer usually is).

Bourn, Chisenhall, and Brantley each had a pair of hits (Chisenhall raised his average to .393, and moved within 16 plate appearances of being qualified. Even if he were 0 for 16 in those at bats, he'd be hitting .359, which means he should now be considered to have the best batting average in all of baseball.

The loss drops the Indians back to .500 and into third place, half a game behind the Royals. A 3-3 start to this 10-game road trip isn't bad, and I'd certainly have taken it if you offered it to me a week ago, but losing both games of a short series is frustrating, and four tough games at Fenway now loom.

Win-Expectancy Chart


Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

Comments: 118

Commenters: 21

(A bit light for an afternoon game... was everyone stuck in a meeting or what???)

# Commenter # Comments
1 Joel D 15
2 Vachos 15
3 tgriffith1992 13
4 Zaza Braggins 10
5 Matt Y. 9
6 no1ever 9
7 Ryan 6
8 mjschaefer 6
9 tr1betime 5
10 westbrook 5
11 Pure_East 4
12 OPace 4
13 PaduaDSP 3
14 chiefwahoo24 3
15 new zealand tribe fan 2
16 APV 2
17 T.O. Tribe 2
18 Deebo Jones 2
19 rock7413 1
20 MooneysRebellion 1
21 Ockus_NYC 1
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