And just like that, the Indians find themselves trailing the Tigers by 3 games. Around the time Jacoby Ellsbury was sending a line drive single to center, the Tigers were making their comeback on the Rangers and their newly refurbished bullpen. Funny how things work out.
Last night’s game was the same type of frustrating game we’ve seen out of the Indians for roughly two months now. It was a low scoring affair that included stellar pitching, a lack of focus and complete offensive ineptness. If the San Fracisco Giants play a style of baseball that has been branded “Torture Ball” then what the hell are the Indians playing. The only thing I can think of is “Masochism Ball.” The only people at this point who actually want to watch or listen to the Cleveland Indians are the type of people who enjoy pain and suffering on a grander scale than the rest of us.
Jason Kipnis, for all of his potential, was the dichotomy of what happens with the Indians as of late. In the top of the first he gave the Indians a 1-0 lead after he sent a Josh Beckett pitch flying into the stands. It was his third home run of the season, all of which have come in the past three games. He immediately followed it up with an error in the bottom of the second inning that helped lead to a Boston run that would tie the game at 1-1. It just goes to show that you can’t really 100% trust rookies when you’re in the middle of a division race. That dropped double play ball is the type of play Orlando Cabrera could make in his sleep. Ironically enough, now he’s making those plays in San Fran.
Lonnie Chisenhall also added a solo home run, but it was nowhere near enough to put the Red Sox away for good. You’d almost think they had one of the most potent offenses in all of baseball. Call me crazy to think that there was no way the Indians were going to win a game in Fenway scoring only two runs.
Then again David Huff was pitching out of his mind. For the third straight game was saw David Huff throw a gem. Only one run allowed over 5 innings. In hindsight it probably should have been over 6 or 7 innings, but Manny Acta decided to go to the pen way too soon. For reasons unbeknownst to me, Acta decided to bring in Rafael Perez to face right-handed hitting Kevin Youkilis. As we know, Perez is notoriously left-handed. Youkilis greeted him by sending a pitch into the stratosphere to tie the game at 2. Thanks for playing. With the way the Indians offense was playing, it was only a matter of time until the Red Sox took the lead.
Three innings later Ellsbury was sending the Boston faithful home happy.
So is there anything we can take away from yesterday’s game as a positive moving forward? Well for starters, the Kipnis and Chisenhall homers are a good sign. The Indians need them to keep hitting if they want any chance of catching the Tigers. Second… well, there really isn’t a second positive to take away. The Indians only managed to get 7 hits, weren’t able to string anything together, and no one had more than one hit. That’s not good… frustratingly bad even.
We have two games remaining in Boston. Tonight our anemic offense will get to take a shot against Tim Wakefield. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Wakefield can either be really, really good or really, really bad. I’m personally hoping for the latter. I’d also feel a lot more confident if Carlos Carrasco were pitching like he did in June when he was virtually unhittable. All he did in his last start was give up 7 runs in less than 3 innings, give up three home runs (one of which was a grand slam) and nearly take off Billy Butler’s head with a fastball high and tight which brought about a 6 game suspension he will begin serving tomorrow. This could go bad. Again, good thing the Red Sox don’t have the offense in baseball or anything…ugh.
The bottom line is the Indians need to play well tonight and they need to win the next two games. They need to set themselves up with the best possible situation heading into Texas this weekend. Again, if they can survive this week, they have the Tigers coming to Cleveland for a three game set. I’d rather see that series be one that could potentially put us back in first place, not just pull us back into the division race. Of course, the Tigers also need to help us out and lose a few games between now and then.
Is that too much to ask?