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Game 143: Rangers 5, Indians 2

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 12:  <strong>Casey Kotchman</strong> #35 of the Cleveland Indians <strong>ground[s] into a fielder's choice scoring a run</strong> against... #highlightothegame
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 12: Casey Kotchman #35 of the Cleveland Indians ground[s] into a fielder's choice scoring a run against... #highlightothegame


Brooks Baseball Pitch FX - Jeanmar Gomez

Well, it's another loss, and you've come to expect that.

The one unexpected thing from tonight's game wasn't that Jeanmar Gomez was terrible again; that was expected. It was the surprisingly effective performance from David Huff. I'm guessing that when the Indians called Huff up, they figured "well, he's out of options, and we'll probably going to outright him after the season, so we'll stow him in the bullpen if a starter gets run early". It's turned out that Huff's two outings have both come in relief of Jeanmar Gomez, and in both cases the contrast in results couldn't have been more stark.

That brings up the question: how in the heck could AAA hitters mash him but major-league hitters (or at least the Twins and Rangers' hitters) couldn't? My best guess is that the hitters' plan of attack is developed against Gomez, while Huff might have gotten a couple of sentences while the players were walking out the door. It's almost a given now that Huff and Gomez will exchange places, with Jeanmar serving as the potential long-man five days from now.

Gomez seems to be in a deep mental funk; he just seems frustrated at anything, from the ball/strike calls to himself. How does a pitcher who won a starting job in spring training devolve into a pitcher with seemingly little confidence? We've seen the first of that transformation; unseen was the second half, when he fared almost as badly in AAA as in the majors. He's now 24, with over 200 major-league innings under his belt, and he looks more unpolished now than when he stepped into the Cleveland rotation three seasons ago.

Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton both hit eye-popping home runs, Beltre's was a laser beam, Hamilton's a moon shot, and both would later leave the game with injuries. That's distressing for a club finishing off a playoff push, because although the Rangers' lineup is among the deepest in the majors, losing those two for any length of time would be a huge blow to a club that in my mind is the best team certainly in the American League.

The Tribe hitting? The less said about that, the better. I'll let the Post of the Game provide the concise analysis:

So we scored on two plays resulting in outs? Sounds about right.

by ahowie on Sep 12, 2012 10:50 PM EDT reply actions

OK. that's done.

Is it bad that I was checking the Akron boxscore more often than the Cleveland one tonight? Danny Salazar was pitching, and it would be perhaps the last time he'd throw in a game this season (though perhaps the Indians bring him up; he's on the 40-man roster). You can see yourself how Salazar did, or you can wait until tomorrow afternoon to read it typed for you.

The Indians have to win four games in their last 19 games to avoid losing 100. In theory that shouldn't be a problem, but this season a lot of theories have been crumpled up and tossed into the circular file.They've now lost 5 in a row, have another game with Texas yet to come, face a perhaps desperate Detroit team this weekend, and still have six with Chicago over the last ten games of the season. Is 3-16 possible down the stretch? Normally I'd say no, but this is a very abnormal team, and not in a good way.

Source: FanGraphs

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