It's been quite a while since the Indians were officially no-hit. On September 4, 1993, Jim Abbott no-hit the Indians at Yankee Stadium, and since then, there have been close calls, but no one had gone the distance. Mike Mussina took a no-bid to the ninth inning one time, Randy Johnson flirted with a no-hitter into the eighth inning in the first game played at then Jacobs Field. And of course last season Armando Gallaraga missed throwing a perfect game only because of a blown call.
But today Ervin Santana did what the roughly 2800 starting pitchers couldn't do since Abbott. After Ezequiel Carrera reached on an error to open the game, he retired the next 22 he faced. He walked Lonnie Chisenhall with one out in the eighth, and that was it. There was one nice defensive play made on a ball hit by Jason Kipnis, but nothing extraordinary.
The Indians scored a run thanks in the first, so they could have won the game regardless of not collecting a hit. Or had they just allowed one run, the game could have gone into extra innings. But thanks to one of the worst defensive efforts I've seen from a major-league baseball team, the Angels took the lead in the sixth, and added to it in the ninth. Carlos Santana in particular had a horrible day; his passed ball allowed the second of the game, and his wild throw in the ninth led to the second one. In all, the Indians made five official errors, and that's not counting the passed ball. And Matt LaPorta's throw...just, wow. Today was a confluence of offensive and defensive nadirs.
Thankfully the pitching was good. David Huff made his second with the Indians and although he only last 5.1 innings, pitched well. His next two starts, depending on how the rotation is juggled, will come against either Boston and Detroit or Texas and Detroit, so we'll have a good idea after those two starts if Huff can handle good lineups as well as poor ones.
It's just one game and one loss, and the Indians may end up tomorrow morning in the exact same position that they started today's game in. Thankfully the rest of the teams in the AL Central are allowing hope to an overachieving and still-rebuilding baseball club. But even if the Indians maintain hailing distance with first place, their ability to win seems to be disintegrating with each passing day.