First off, I was right about last night’s game. They were due for a loss and last night was the perfect storm with David Price taking the mound. He dominated the Tribe and the home winning streak came to an end. But today is a new day and Justin Masterson takes the mound against James Shields. I’m listening to the game at work today, so I’m going to do something different. I’m going to live blog this game and update this entry as the game goes along. Fun times.
12:05: Masterson on the mound. Here we go.
12:10: 1, 2, 3 inning by Masterson that included a strikeout and two nice plays by the Super Cabrera Bros. I have a good feeling about today’s game.
12:12: Brantley is leading off and playing center for Grady who’s out with a knee. This should be a tough game again today. James Shields has the 5th best ERA in the American League.
12:17: Shields has his change up working today. Choo strikes out swinging on 3 change ups and the Indians go in order in the bottom of the first. Choo… eye on the ball…eye. on. the. ball. It’s baseball 101. I’m shaking my head in shame right now.
12:21: Masterson walks Longoria to lead off the top of the 2nd. Thanks, a walk doesn’t help my last place fantasy baseball team, The LaPorta Potties, at all.
12:23: Two men on and nobody out after Joyce singles. By the way, the Rays have 10 of the first 60 picks in this years draft. The Tampa GM should consider a career as NFL GM. That’s unbelievable. They get that right and they’ll be loaded for a very long time. Watch out AL.
12:27: Choo continues his stellar play and misplays a ball hit to right. Thankfully, Tampa ran the bases just as well and everyone moved up only one base. Bases loaded, no one out.
12:29: Hannahan throws home and Santana saves his ass with a nice scoop to get the first out. Bases loaded 1 out. Brignac follows that up with a long double down the line in left. So much for that good feeling I had 20 minutes ago. 2-0 Tampa and Belcher is out to the mound. 2010 Justin Masterson has decided to make an appearance. All of the sudden I don’t feel so good. Kelly “Quadzilla” Shoppach is up to bat.
12:35: Masterson strikes out Quadzilla, but Sam Fuld singles to left scoring 2 more runs. It’s now 4-0 Tampa and Masterson has given up more runs in this inning than he has in any game this year. Not good, not good at all. Thankfully, Santana ends this misery by gunning out Fuld trying to steal second. Inning over. We head to the bottom of the 2nd with the Tribe down 4-0. Can someone tell me why I decided to to this again?
12:43: Shields change up is working. Santana grounded out to second, Hafner singled, and O-Cab struck out on a 3-2 change up. And what would you know, Duncan strikes out looking at a 3-2 fastball on the outside part of the plate. At least they’re changing things up a bit… pun intended.
12:52: Masterson escapes the 3rd unscathed…but barely. After giving up back to back singles, he got a nice play at third on a tough hop by Hannhan, and then a line drive double play to O-Cab. Lucky bastard. With the way the inning started I’m surprised that wasn’t worse. He’s going to have to get his pitches down if he wants to stick around. Everything right now is up in the zone. LaPorta is up to bat.
1:00: The Indians finally get something going. Two men on with two out and Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate and just like that it’s over… Brantley gets caught sleeping and picked off at first to end the inning. Thank you, Michael Brantley. Thanks to your stupidity my brain is starting to hurt. The Indians are still down 4-0 headed to the 4th.
1:02: Masterson gets three quick outs after two very shaky innings. My ulcer would appreciate it if Masterson could decide which version of himself he’d like to send out to the mound each inning. This two-face crap is getting old. Asdrubal is leading off the bottom of the 4th with the heart of the order to follow. If the Indians are going to strike, the time is now. And for the record, the number of updates has slowed thanks to work. How dare they make me do my job. That’s just rude. Then again they are paying me to be here in this cube right now… man, my balls are really in a juicer on this one.
1:07: Asdrubal walks to lead off the 4th. Just like I said, nows the time to strike. Let’s go CHOOOOOOOOOOOO! You’re my boy, Choo!
1:09: Eff you, Choo… strikes out on a foul tip. One out, one on, Santana up to bat.
1:11: Single for Santana… very nice. Two on for Pronk…
1:13: Hafner grounds to Casey Kotchman who throws to 2nd for the force out. Hafner beat out the throw back to 1st. Two outs and men on 1st and 3rd for O-Cab. As I’m typing this, he bloops out to short right field to end the inning… crap. Still 4-0 Tampa headed to the 5th. Going back to the Choo issue for a second, is it time to start thinking about moving him down to 6th or 7th n the order? I think so. I think there are a lot of options with this team that would allow them to make that move and not sacrifice the chemistry of the team or the lineup. Maybe I’ll explore that later. Anyways, the Rays are batting. Quadzilla is up again, a strike out victim in the 2nd.
1:17: Shoppach loses hold of his bat on a massive swing. That’s the Shoppach we grew to know and love every now and then. It’s called pine tar. Invest in some… jack wagon. Shoppach strikes out again.
1:23: It looks like Masterson is finally settled in. He gives up a walk, but the Rays go quietly in the 5th. They still lead the Tribe 4-0.
1:31: Hannahan gets himself a base hit and in the process gets a hit for the LaPorta Potties…exciting stuff. Brantley strikes out…inning over.
1:40: A safety squeeze… really? LaPorta makes a terrible play on it and everybody is safe, 5-0 Tampa. This just isn’t Masterson’s day given how well James Shields is pitching. And just as I say that, Masterson’s day is over.
1:52: Asdrubal Cabrera lays into one and hits a homer to right field. The Indians are on the score board, 5-1 Tampa. Choo smashes a single to right field. Looks like they might have something going here in the bottom of the 6th.
1:55: Santana sends one deep to right field causing me to momentarily get excited in the pants region. Turns out he just missed it as it’s caught in front of the wall. Damn it…
2:01: Sam Fuld misplays a ball hit by O-Cab about as bad as you could possibly play it. It rolls all the way to the wall scoring Choo. Cabrera gets credit for the double and the Indians cut it to 5-2. Shelley Duncan is up to bat and with one hit could pull the Tribe within 2. And Joe Madden is playing a right hander/left side of the infield shift… that’s a strange decision. Let’s see how well that works for him.
2:05: … Cabrera gets picked off of second to end the inning. That’s the second time today a Tribe players has been picked off a base to end an inning. In this situation, down 3 and you’re already in scoring position, there’s no way you can let yourself get picked off. Cabrera might as well have been thrown out trying to steal third. Somewhere, baseball Satan is laughing as another player commits another one of baseball’s cardinal sins. To quote Red Foreman… “Dumbass!”
2:13: Stolen base for Evan Longoria…the LaPorta Potties are pleased. The Indians fan in me is not. Chad “Pass me the antacid” Durbin is working his magic once again as Rafael Perez hustles to get worm in the bullpen. Casey Kotchman is up with 2 on and 2 out. This could break the game open if he can’t get out of this.
2:17: Durbin gets out of the jam. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised. Do I need to stop expecting the worst when Durbin comes into the games? I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of massive life change. Still 5-2 Rays headed to the bottom of the 7th.
2:25: Indians go in order without so much as a whimper in the 7th. Rafael Perez is in the game for the Indians. Joel Peralta is warming in the Tampa bullpen which means James Shield’s day is probably over.
2:42: I had to pee. Of course as soon as I get back Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting some strange fly ball out to left and it bounced off the wall or railing or something. I don’t know, I caught the tail end of it. Right now Cabrera is on third with a triple as the umpires review it. They’ve ruled it a triple. Asdrubal is on third with 1 out and Choo coming to the plate. Alright… you’re my boy, Choo!… you’re my boy. CHOOOOOOOOO!!!!
2:46: Choo grounds out, but he got the run home. 5-3 Rays with 2 out. Santana at the dish.
2:48: Carlos just struck out looking on three pitches and never took the bat off of his shoulder. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that in order to get a hit you have to actually swing the bat. All three pitches hit the outside corner and Santana didn’t agree with any of them. Unfortunately it’s the umpire who has final say. We head to the top of the 9th with the Indians down 5-3.
2:54: Joe Smith is in the game. Not sure how I feel about that. Yes, I have horrific, post-traumatic stress like nightmares about submarine style pitchers.
2:57: And just like that, a passed ball and a 2 RBI double by Evan Longoria puts the Rays up 7-3. Barring a miracle by the Tribe this game is all but over. The overwhelming amount of mental mistakes are what did them in today. Two pickoffs, a misplayed ball in right, and a passed ball. Not good. In the time it took to type that, Longoria was advanced to third and now a walk. Runners on first and third, 1 out.
3:01: The old fake the pick off to third throw to first actually worked. Two outs and the what not to do when running bases seminar continues. Apparently the Rays figured they’d add to today’s lesson. A strikeout ends the inning. We head to the bottom of the 9th, 7-3 Tampa on top.
3:10 O-Cab doubles and Shelley Duncan scores him on a bloop hit to right. It’s 7-4 Tampa with one out and Matt LaPorta at bat. Could the old Kyle Farnsworth be making an appearance? Guess not. LaPorta flies out to left field. Two down and one on for Jack Hannahan.
3:12: Hannahan grounds out to second… Ball game. The Rays win the rubber match of this 3 game series by a final score of 7-4.
Today’s game was sloppy and the Indians played like they didn’t really want to be there. This was one of the few games so far this season where the Indians repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with mental mistakes and out of those few, this was the worst. Who knows how many more runs they score if Brantley and Cabrera don’t get picked off. Errors like that can’t happen.
Masterson struggled today for the first time all season. That’s not saying he didn’t pitch well enough to win. With the exception of the 2nd inning Masterson was fairly dominant. Without the 2nd, Masterson only give up one run on a safety squeeze. It all goes back to the mental errors though. Without them, maybe we’re talking about a no decision for Masterson as opposed to his first loss of the season. Tampa is a good team and they took advantage. Give them credit, that’s what good teams do.
The Indians will look to bounce back this weekend as they welcome the Mariners and Eric Wedge to Progressive Field. They swept them earlier in the season at Safeco. Things won’t be as easy this time around. In Seattle they were able to avoid Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. They won’t be so fortunate this time as they are slated to face both pitchers. Felix Hernandez is the reigning AL Cy Young award winner and Pineda looks like a potential ace. Good luck…. they’re going to need it.