Tribe falls to 57-58
There used to be FanPosts that followed many Tribe losses, identifying three things for fans to feel good about. I would love to see that post put together for this one, which was one of the least enjoyable games I've watched all season.
One positive I can identify is T.J. House, who has performed gamely since being brought up to join the rotation in May after a number of other options fell through. He hasn't had any great games, but he's also had very few really bad ones, usually giving the team 5 or 6 innings and allowing no more than 3 earned runs. Not exciting, but production you can accept from your #5 starter, because it gives the team a chance. At least it would if the team could hit or play some defense.
In the bottom of the 1st, we got to see up close the danger of letting speedster Billy Hamilton get on base to lead off an inning, and of a lousy defense trying to do too much.
With Hamilton on first, Jay Bruce hit a slow grounder into the hole between shortstop and third base. Chisenhall (who was shifted over to where the shortstop usually plays) ranged to his right and made the play, but he didn't have a realistic play, and should have just put the ball in his pocket. Instead, he threw to first, allowing Hamilton to take off for third. Next it was Santana's turn to force things, mistakenly thinking he might nail Hamilton. Instead the throw bounced just in front of the bag and into the seats, allowing Hamilton to score, and Bruce to advance to third base.
In the 2nd inning, after pitcher Homer Bailey reached base with a single with two outs (sigh...), Hamilton knock a base hit into left field. Unfortunately for the Indians, Nick Swisher was allowed to play the position tonight (it should require at least two of his teammates suffering an injury during the game for Swisher to ever play in the outfield), and he misplayed the ball, which got away from him, allowing Bailey to score. A nice relay cut Hamilton down at the plate, saving the Indians from the indignity of giving up an inside-the-park home run on what should have been a single. (Remember that from Little League?!)
Hamilton reached again in the 6th, after Santana made another error, but was caught stealing. The Reds tacked on another un in the 6th though, making it 4-0, but it might as well have been 14-0, because the Tribe offense wasn't coming back.
Chisenhall made a throwing error in the 8th, but that one didn't lead to any runs. In fact, that play led to the only base runner C.C. Lee allowed in two innings of relief, so I guess that's a second positive I can identify from tonight's game.
I've only touched on the pitching and defense so far, so allow me to recap the Tribe offense: It stunk. The Indians managed only 5 hits all night, and never got a runner as far as third base.
The Indians are back below .500, closer to last place than first place, 3.5 games back in a tepid race for the second Wild Card spot. The Indians will spend the weekend in the Bronx, and if they don't play better than they have over the last three days, the Tribe's playoff chances will be dead by Sunday night.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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