September 11, 2013
There's only five series left in the season, but the Indians are leaking oil right now. For the last month the pitching staff has overcome an awful offensive attack, but with McAllister's performance last night and Kazmir's short outing today, I wouldn't count on the pitching to carry this team down the home stretch.
Kazmir's first pitch of the game ended up in the seats in right field, and a misplay by Drew Stubbs in right field led to two more runs scored in the inning. Those three runs were all that the Royals would need. Stubbs is playing right now because Ryan Raburn isn't physcially able to play the field, but the way Drew has played recently I'd rather see Matt Carson in right, and my opinion of Carson isn't that great.
The Indians came back in the bottom of the first to make a game of it. And once again it was Michael Brantley who got the big hit, a two-out single to plate Michael Bourn and Mike Aviles. That would be the last hit Shields would allow until the ninth innings.
The game went downhill from there. While the Tribe hitters were flailing away at Shields' changeups, Kazmir left in the fifth after his throwing error led to runners at first and third with nobody out. A groundball to Lonnie Chisenhall* got the runner home, and the Royals took a 4-1 lead. Bryan Shaw did a great job defusing the inning as well as getting the game into the seventh, but Rich Hill served up another run on a silver platter. Hill walked Alex Gordon, then allowed a single to Bonifacio, then threw the ball away to allow Gordon to score from third. But all is not lost: Hill didn't allow any inherited runners to score.
Shields started the ninth, but was pulled in favor of closer Greg Holland when the first two batters of the inning got on base via hits. Holland struck out the side to quell the tiny rally, and in doing so clinched a crucial series win by the Royals. The Indians could have effectively ended any chance of the Royals getting a Wild Card spot, but now they have just about as good a chance as the Indians of overtaking Tampa Bay (or even Texas, as they play them next week). And with the loss, the path to 90 wins looks very difficult to obtain now.
*Am I completely off-base by saying that Chisenhall should have gone home on the play? There was a good chance that Bonifacio would be out, and with Shields pitching well and the KC bullpen looming if there was any trouble, the Indians weren't going to score too many runs. As it turned out, the play didn't matter, but it could have had the Tribe bullpen did its job.
Roll Call (28 Commenters)
|7||Denver Tribe Fan||13|
|9||Mr. Bad Example||11|
|27||new zealand tribe fan||1|