The Indians' tough ten-game road trip got off to a bad start Friday night, as they fell to the Rangers 6-4. Losing when you face Yu Darvish is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Tribe did pretty well against him, and the game was tied when he threw his last pitch. The bullpen allowed a couple more runs though, and that was that.
The Indians are now 9-20 on the road this season, which is the worst in the league. If they can't do better than that over the next four weeks (they've just begun a stretch with 18 of 26 on the road), the recent 6-game winning streak that got them back to .500 isn't going to matter. If (on the other hand) they can get through that stretch with a .500 record, they'll be in good shape, as the schedule lightens up considerably.
Other Tribe items:
Paul Hoynes' daily notes from Friday include conflicting reports from various members of Indians management on whether or not the elbow soreness that recently landed Danny Salazar on the minor league DL was already an issue for him during spring training. Francona says his elbow was fine, but Indians director of player personnel Ross Atkins the pain Salazar is feeling in his elbow and triceps began during spring training.
The organization really should make sure everyone is on board with the same version of the truth.
Jordan Bastian's daily notes from Friday includes mention that Nick Swisher is expected to rehab with Akron on Tuesday and Wednesday, in advance of possibly rejoining the Tribe for their four-game series in Boston, which begins on Thursday.
Buried in the notes of this preview of Saturday's game at MLB.com: Elvis Andrus has now hit safely in his last 38 games against the Indians, which is tied for the second longest streak against a single opponent in modern MLB history. Also at 38: Jacoby Ellsbury against Baltimore (2009-2012). The record: Vladimir Guerrero with 44 consecutive games against Texas from 2004 to 2006).
The Indians had Keith Law's favorite group of Day 1 draft choices (subscription required). Obviously a team like the Indians, in a small market and with relatively low revenues, needs cheap talent, and the draft is the best way to get it, so hearing one of the most respected talented evaluators in the country praise the team's choices is nice.
The Indians, despite falling below .500 again, the Indians are only four games out of 1st place, because the Tigers have been playing bad baseball for going on a month. At FanGraphs, Paul Swydan looks at what's going wrong in Detroit.
According to this article at Hardball Talk, the Brewers, Mariners, Rangers, Royals, and Yankees have all expressed interest in signing Kendrys Morales, now that teams wouldn't have to give up a draft pick. I don't love Morales, but he's a solid hitter, so here's hoping the Brewers bring him to the National League.
Johan Santana's attempted comeback is over, as he's torn his achilles and is out for the year. I have to think this is it for Johan. He almost certainly doesn't have the career totals needed for HOF induction, but I'd think long and hard about voting for him, if I had a ballot, as I would for any pitcher who was legitimately the best in baseball for more a stretch more than half a decade long.
This week's off-topic-topic:
Last night for a friend's birthday, his wife set up a backyard movie theater, and we watched Ghostbusters under the
stars light pollution. As a Chicagoan, I don't have especially positive feelings about New York City, but there sure have been a lot of good movies primarily set there.
Here are my favorites by decade:
1950s: Rear Window
1960s: The Apartment
1970s: The Godfather
1990s: The Hudsucker Proxy
2000s: The Royal Tenenbaums
There are a ton of other good ones too, probably more than can be claimed by any other place.