Tribe falls to 33-35
The Terry Francona Indians are once again proving that they're streakier than dollar store Windex. This loss marks four straight, coming on the heels of a torrid 8-1 stretch that put them back into AL Central contention. Watching a team like this has become an exercise in cardiac conditioning and fatalism. This game, like so many others this year, was no fun to watch.
It started out ugly, but it also finished ugly. Justin Masterson gave up three runs over the first two innings and departed in the 3rd after walking the first two batters he faced. That made for a long night for the Tribe bullpen, which responded by collapsing in on itself like a dying star. The "performance" rendered any offensive output useless, which was just as well, because the offense was about as hopeless as it has been in the past three games.
Masterson cruised through the 1st, and the Tribe took the early lead on a Carlos Santana homer in the 2nd. If there's any positive takeaway from this game, it's Carlos continuing his run of solid performance since his return. The lead was short-lived, as the wheels came off the Masterson jalopy almost immediately in the bottom of the 2nd. After the first two batters walked, Daniel Nava singled to load the bases and A.J. Pierkjdfhfgljdfdouchelisylhski doubled in two runs. Jackie Bradley added an RBI single, putting the Sawx up 3-2.
The Indians responded swiftly with back to back doubles by Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley to tie things up, but they could only muster the one run. That was essentially the last we'd see of the Tribe offense. Masterson walked the first two batters in the Boston 3rd, and was quickly pulled for Kyle Crockett. Crockett got David Ortiz to admire a fly out but then gave up a line drive double to Mike Napoli, putting Boston up 5-3. That left Masterson with a wretched, fiery of a final line for the night: 2 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB. The scoring subsided until the Red Sox opened the floodgates in the 7th.
Mark Rzepczynski, who had pitched a 1-2-3 6th, walked two to start the 7th and was pulled for Bryan Shaw. Shaw, doing his best Justin Masterson impression, gave up a two-run double to everyone's favorite hood ornament to put Boston up 7-3. A single from Napoli made it 8-3, and double from Nava off of Josh Outman scored another.
From the 5th to the 9th the Indians sent a maximum of four batters to the plate each inning, capping another weak showing. Xander Bogaerts added the exclamation point, a monster homer off the light post above the Green Monster in the 8th. That came off Cody Allen, who was the sixth Tribe reliever used tonight.
A frustrating loss this was, no doubt. Again, we're left wondering what the true nature of this team is. Are we awesome, or do we suck? Is it both? Is it getting harder for all of us to keep caring? I dunno. At least it's Friday night. Everyone go get drunk and forget baseball exists. That's my plan.
A few more tidbits about tonight:
- Dustin PEDroia was generally a pain in the ass all night, making an excellent diving stop on what would have been a single for Lonnie Chisenhall in the 6th
- The same Tribe pitching staff that's on pace to set an MLB record for strikeouts only manage three tonight
- Michael Brantley continues to be consistent and Carlos Santana is enjoying a mini-return to form
- With Detroit's loss, the Indians are still only three games back in the AL Central - is this an atrocious year of baseball, or what?
- The Red Sox have a player named Burke Badenhop
Loss likelihood chart:
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