Game 98: Tigers 5, Indians 1
Tribe falls to 50-48
Before this four-game series in Detroit began, any reasonable fan would have been delighted to know we'd see the Tribe win three of the games. I try to be reasonable, and so I'm looking at the weekend as a whole and feeling good about making up two games on the Tigers and also leapfrogging Kansas City to get back into second place (the Royals were swept in Boston this weekend…. Speaking of the Red Sox, they're no longer looking like they're out of it…. Excuse me, I digress).
All of that said, it's still no fun losing, especially when so much of the game is so rotten. Josh Tomlin gave up hits to the first two batters he faced, and put the Indians in a 2-0 hole after an inning. He got through the next couple frames without any more damage, but in the 4th inning he let my least favorite Tiger, Torii Hunter hit a two-run bomb. After allowing a couple more hits in the 5th, we was lifted. The bullpen gave up one more run over the final 3.2 innings of work, theoretically giving the team a chance to come back and win, but the lineup was having none of it.
Yan Gomes was great at the plate, hitting his 14th double of the season in the 5th inning and then his 13th home run of the year in the 7th, giving the Indians their only run. Jason Kipnis singled and drew a walk, wrapping up probably his best series of the year, but the rest of the lineup was a lost cause. Nick Swisher went 0 for 4, Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley, Ryan Raburn, Carlos Santana, and David Murphy each went 0 for 3.
It was a good weekend for the offense on the whole, but not a good finale.
Tomlin is pitching about as a #5 starter should be expected to, with some ups and some downs. Trouble is, the Indians have had too many guys pitching like that lately. If Masterson comes back next week and is his old self, and if Danny Salazar does well in the spot start he's expected to make on Tuesday and seems ready to return, we could be looking at a very good rotation, but anytime you've got multiple ifs about your pitching, things aren't likely to turn out well.
As I said at the top, this weekend was a big success. The Indians have moved to within 5.5 games of Detroit, and are 2.5 games behind Seattle for the second Wild Card spot right now, three games closer than they were at the start of the month. the 11-game road trip the Indians are on to start the second half continues on Monday in Minnesota, for the first of three games against the last-place Twins. Taking two of three up there would keep the team headed in the right direction.
Win Expectancy Chart: