June 3, 2013
Of the nine games on this road trip, the best opportunity to win a game was in the opener. You had Justin Masterson pitching against a mish-mashed lineup, and opposing him was Andy Pettitte, who was just coming off the DL. Well, not only did the Indians lose in excruciating fashion, they lost Asdrubal Cabrera to what looks like a very serious injury.
The Indians scored the first run of the game in third inning. Michael Bourn and Mike Aviles led off the inning with singles, and after an Asdrubal Cabrera bunt, Nick Swisher drove home Bourn on a groundout to third base. Aviles was tagged out going to third base, and the inning ended quietly. I don't like bunts early in a game, especially against a pitcher like Pettitte. Yes, the danger of grounding into a double play is there, but on the flip side, you had an excellent chance of a big inning with the middle of the order coming up.
The Yankees scored four runs off Masterson in the bottom of the inning in as weak a way as possible. Two seeing-eye singles followed by a walk followed by line drive that would be at worst a double in every other park in the majors. But since that line drive was hit in Yankee Stadium, it cleared the fence for a grand slam.
The Indians would come back to tie the game, but not before they lost one of their key cogs to injury. On a groundout to second base, Asdrubal Cabrera suddenly pulled up about two-thirds of the way down the line. Replays showed an obvious muscle strain (or worse) in Asdrubal's right leg. He had to be almost carried off the field. Cabrera had been playing a good portion of the early season with a sore quadricep, and given the initial daignosis by the team trainers, it looks like it gave way tonight. Asdrubal will fly back to Cleveland tonight to have it evaluated, but regardless of the full diagnosis, he's going on the DL. That means Mike Aviles will become for at least a couple week the team's starting shortstop, and the Indians will need to call up another infielder.
The Indians had scored a run in the inning before Cabrera left, a sacrifice fly to the second baseman. Yeah, that's right, Drew Stubbs scored from third on a pop fly into shallow center field. Robinson Cano couldn't get in position to catch and throw, and that allowed the speedy Stubbs to get to home plate before the throw. Later in the inning, Carlos Santana hit a double down the left field line to score two and knot the game up at 4 runs apiece.
But Masterson couldn't the Yankees off the board. In the sixth inning, he walked Ichiro Suzuki, then later gave up an Austin Romine up-the-middle single. While facing Brett Gardner, Romine swapped second, so that when Gardner hit a line-drive single into center field, two runs scored. And to top off the fun, former Tribesman Travis Hafner broke out of a lengthy slump by hitting a solo homer off Masterson in the seventh.
Under such inauspicious circumstances does the road trip from hell begin.
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