Tigers 6, Indians 4: Detroit takes opener when Tribe offense arrives too late

Jason Miller

It was a long night for me and the Indians both.

Game 74: Tigers 6, Indians 4

Box Score

Indians fall to 37-37

I was all set to watch tonight's game, but before I could, my fiancee and I had to take our puppy for a long walk, because that's the only way we've got any chance of her not being out of her damn mind all night. So, we walked around the neighborhood, practicing loose-leash walking and sitting at red lights, and after almost an hour, we headed back home. Sadly, our downstairs neighbor had locked a lock we never lock, and thus never to think to bring a key for.

Neither of us had brought car keys, so we couldn't drive to my fiancee's mother's place to get the spare key. I was able to borrow a phone from my best friend (who lives just down the block... and really ought to have a spare key, except that I'm an idiot), and gradually we made progress on getting back in without paying the $120 the locksmith told me it would cost to do the job.

After three and a half hours out and about, dog in tow, we finally got back in. At that point the game was over though, so I couldn't watch a single pitch of it. Much like the Indians, by the time I got to home, it was too late to really accomplish much.

There for, what remains of this recap will be written entirely based on what I see in examining the play-by-play. You all can fill me in on any nuances that data leads me to miss:

Both Corey Kluber and Rick Porcello started the game off pretty well, each of them retiring the side without incident in the 1st, then allowing a single in the 2nd, but erasing it with a double-play grounder. Kluber allowed a double to lead off the 3rd, but that runner was erased by Yan Gomes, who has put his miserable defensive start to the season, and gotten back to being one of the very best backstops in baseball.

In the 4th inning Kluber ran into trouble again, this time in the form of a leadoff single by Miguel Cabrera. Next, Beloved (but not for long if he keeps this up) former Indian Victor Martinez smashed a home run into the right field seats, putting the Tribe in a 2-0 hole. From there though, the Klubot pitched more like he was designed too, recording another 12 outs while allowing only another three hits (and speaking of terminators, Gomes nailed one of those guys on another stolen base attempt... You think the city that gave us RoboCop would know better than to try anything against a machine).

Unfortunately, the Indians offense couldn't score any runs. They had three hits in the 6th inning, which really ought to mean at least one guy crosses the plate, but no one did.

Kluber's night ended after he'd thrown 7 innings, allowing only those 2 runs, while striking out 6. Not a spectacular game, but a good one. And while the lineup hadn't done its part, Porcello was exiting the game at that point too, and scoring three runs in three innings isn't quite as difficult as it might sound, when you have the opportunity to do it against Detroit's bullpen, which has been awful this year.

Sadly, John Axford was brought in. This isn't the recommended operating procedure in a close game against a good opponent, but I guess options A, B, C, and D were unavailable at the moment.

Axford got two outs while allowing only one man to reach base, but then he threw a wild pitch, then he intentionally walked Victor, and then he gave up a three-run homer to Victor's little brother J.D. (Okay, J.D. isn't actually Victor's brother... he's his son! ...Okay, that's not true either.)

At that point Vinnie Pestano came in and worked his first scoreless appearance of the season for the Indians (yes, it was only one out, but I'll take it!). Just to mess with us, Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn singled to start off the bottom of the 8th, and then Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run bomb. Carlos Santana added a solo shot (even though we all know he's still a terrible hitter because look at that batting average!). The Indians were suddenly within a run, there was hope!

Then Marc Rzepczynski and Carlos Carrasco combined to allow another run, and there was less hope.

Then Michael Brantley returned after missing a couple games with a concussion to pinch hit, and he singled... there was a little more hope again!

Then Bourn struck out, and the hope was gone.

Hopefully the Indians learned some things about bullpen usage and the dangers of the intentional walk. Hopefully I learned to take all the keys I might need and the importance of having someone within walking distance who has a spare key.

The Indians and I will both be back tomorrow, looking for a better result.

Win-Expectancy Chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

Comments: 90

Commenters: 20

Maybe I wasn't the only one locked out tonight.

# Commenter # Comments
1 Vachos 20
2 BuenosAires_Dawg 16
3 tgriffith1992 6
4 OPace 6
5 Mr. Bad Example 5
6 Matt Y. 5
7 mainstreetfan 5
8 ShamansBlues 4
9 DocNo 4
10 #RollTribe 3
11 westbrook 3
12 krisroxxfoxx 3
13 woodsmeister 2
14 ahowie 2
15 palcal 1
16 emd2k3 1
17 kyle.satterfield.39 1
18 T.O. Tribe 1
19 Phil Kehres 1
20 f1r3br1ng3r 1
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