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Friday recap: Mariners soft tossers stymie Indians offense, Tribe loses 3-2

It was a loss, but at least it wasn't as ugly as it tends to be lately.

Otto Greule Jr

Game 79: Mariners 3, Indians 2

Box Score

Tribe falls to 38-41

In the heady early days of summer, I'd forgive you for thinking there are better things to do than watch a struggling team play a late game against an uninspiring opponent. In a season of 162 games, there are bound to be some uneventful ones that quietly fade out of memory. This was one of those games.

Trevor Bauer was not the sharpest he's ever been, but he continued to show signs of maturation. He managed a solid game, giving up three runs but gutting out six and a third while striking out five. The third run was the result of being left in just slightly too long. His other roadblock was a familiar one: lack of run support.

The Indians looked for the most part like they were swinging wet noodles at M's soft tossers Chris Young and Joe Beimel, generating just seven hits on the night. While five of those hits were doubles, a brutal 0-8 with runners in scoring position limited them to just one run through the first eight innings. Michael Bourn had three hits on the night including a double and an RBI single. Jason Kipnis also collected two doubles and is showing signs of heating up. Otherwise, it was an uneventful game for the Tribe offense.

Bauer got off to a rocky start, giving up a run in the first on a Kyle Seager single. He got some rare defensive support in the 4th when Michael Brantley made a nice jumping catch on a line drive to deep left, then doubled off Logan Morrison who was doing god knows what on the basepaths. Still, he managed to give up a second run in the 4th and ran his pitch count into the 70's in the process. Finally able to settle down a bit, Bauer pitched an effective 5th and a 1-2-3 6th and appeared to be done for the night on a reasonably high note. He didn't have his best stuff, but he did manage to make a few people look stupid. Most notably, Robinson Cano struck out swinging at a nasty breaking ball that bounced about four feet in front of the plate. Cano was held in check all night, going 0-4.

By all means, Bauer's night should have been done after the 6th inning. His pitch count was up over 100 but Terry Francona sent him back out for the 7th, and the Indians paid the price. The former UCLA ace served up a meatball to Endy Chavez, who deposited a rocket shot into the right field seats for his first homer of the year. The garbage pail kids trio of Kyle Crockett, Nick Hagadone, and Vinnie Pestano pitched an effective two and two thirds innings, but three runs was all the M's would need tonight.

Until the 9th, the Indians' only run came on a Michael Brantley sac fly that scored David Murphy in the 3rd. They threatened in the eight with a two out walk by Carlos Santana followed by a Kipnis double, but Lonnie Chisenhall rolled a weak grounder to second to end the rally. Ironically, the Indians seemed to come to life against Seattle's hardest thrower in the 9th. Facing closer Fernando Rodney, Nick Swisher smashed a one out single to right and advanced to second on a David Murphy groundout. Michael Bourn drove Swisher in with another solid single, and it looked like the Tribe might have Rodney's number. Asdrubal Cabrera quickly put those hopes to rest, popping out to short to end the game with an appropriate fizzle.

This wasn't a particularly bad game. For once, our defense wasn't a circus. Bauer pitched decently and probably deserved a better fate. The offense managed some hard hits, but couldn't get it done in the clutch and were largely stymied by Seattle's junkballers. The Mariners did just enough to win, but neither team did anything worth remembering any longer than it will take you to read and forget this recap.

On to the next one.

Win expectancy chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll call

Game Thread

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