The Indians were given a massive advantage because Scott Kazmir got kicked out of the game in the second inning, but lost in ugly fashion anyway. First, they couldn't score against Dan Otero in the longest outing of his career, then they turned a 3-2 game into a 6-2 game because of more errors. Jesus Aguilar dropped the relay from Asdrubal Cabrera on what should have an inning-ending double play, and that error led to a demoralizing three-run inning that ended all hope of coming back.
Now what? First of all, the Indians absolutely have to play better defense. It's one thing to not have great range, but it's quite another to flub plays that major-league players are expected to make. Does that mean moving Carlos Santana back to DH and going with Lonnie Chisenhall, who isn't that great a third baseman to begin with? Santana isn't the only one making errors, and when the whole club is throwing and booting the ball all over the diamond, you can't fix that with one move.
A shoddy defense combined with a rather limited offense means that mistakes often turn into game-changers. If the Indians had been up 6-3 when the Aguilar error happened, perhaps the game goes into extra innings. But because they only scored two runs on an Oakland bullpen that had to throw 7.1 innings, those three runs scored in the seventh were the game.
This weekend two Tribe pitchers made their major-league debuts. Crockett was called up largely because of his dominance in the minors (giving up just two earned runs in 40.1 minor-league innings counts as dominance in my book). House was called up because the Indians got shellacked on Friday night and needed a pitcher for last night's game.
Crockett may end up being optioned down in the next couple weeks because he has options, and House will probably go back to AAA shortly, but both are important to the Indians in the near and long terms. With Salazar in AAA working some things out, House is the next starter on the depth chart if there's a need. And Crockett, who was drafted less than a year ago, should quickly work his way into a key setup role.
Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
Lots of changes from last week:
Currently there are nine pitchers in the bullpen, which should go back to 8 after Trevor Bauer is called up for Tuesday's start. Jesus Aguilar will probably go back down when Jason Giambi gets activated. and Jose Ramirez will likely be demoted when Jason Kipnis is activated.
AL Central News
That's not good.
Pretty good chance someone claims Maxwell on waivers, with the Indians being perhaps one of them. Maxwell is a right-handed outfielder who can play center field. He's been awful at the plate this year, but hit .252/.328/436 in 2013 between Houston and Kansas City.
Headline says it all.
Today's Video Clip
Last month someone literally hit the cover off the ball.