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Danny Salazar great, but Indians lose because their offense is terrible

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[comment redacted due to excessive profanity]

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Game 25: Giants 4 , Indians 1

A walk-off home run off Cody Allen by journeyman infielder Brandon Hicks is what ended Sunday afternoon's game in San Francisco, but this loss falls squarely on the offense. Michael Bourn had a pair of singles, and Yan Gomes ran into one and parked it in the left field seats, but those were the only hits of the game. Nick Swisher: 0 for 4. Carlos Santana: 0 for 4. Michael Brantley, Asdrubal Cabrera, and David Murphy each went 0 for 3 because things were so bad they never even got a fourth plate appearance.

On the weekend, Santana went 0 for 9, while Brantley and Cabrera both went 0 for 10. I'm sure teams have won series in which their #4, 5, and 6 hitters went 0 for 29, but it can't happen often. The Indians have now lost their last six games in San Francisco (a streak that extends back to their 2011 series), scoring a total of nine runs. What's say we talk to the schedule makers about never sending the Tribe back there again.

It's a shame the Indians couldn't win, because we should be in a celebratory mood after Danny Salazar pitched his best game of the season (considering that earlier this week I said it was time to send him down to Columbus for a couple weeks to get things right, I'll mention that I like my crow done medium well. He pitched 7 innings (after failing to finish 5 in any of his three previous starts) and struck out 8. When he took 22 pitches to get through the 1st inning, I figured he was headed for another short outing, but he finally put in the kind of efficiency I'd been hoping for, using 79 pitches to get through the next six frames. He still managed to strike out 8, but he allowed only 5 hits and didn't walk anyone after the 1st inning.

Trevor Bauer put up a very similar line this afternoon for Columbus (7 IP, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts, 5 hits, 1 walk), and I continue to believe he merits a promotion, but after today I'll have to turn my attention back to Carlos Carrasco as the man who's spot should be on the line. I suspect he'll get at least one more start before a change is made, but that should be it (unless he does something like Salazar did today).

I've almost convinced myself that Salazar's performance is worth ignoring the lineup's struggle, but I can't quite get there. Ryan Vogelsong has been one of the worst starting pitchers in MLB since the start of 2013 (6.00 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 55 ERA+), yet the offense was helpless against him (Gomes' home run came after Vogelsong left the game). The Indians are now 12th in the American League in runs per game, and 12th in wRC+. The Astros, Mariners, and Royals are the only teams hitting worse than the Tribe right now.

The Indians drop to 11-14. They head to Anaheim for three games with the Angels next. Monday's game doesn't start until 10:05 ET, which is just as well, because children shouldn't be allowed to watch the team right now.

Box Score

Win-expectancy chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

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