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Indians complete lost weekend, losing 6-4 to Detroit thanks yet another late blown lead

Thanks for the memories, 2014.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 148: Tigers 6, Indians 4

Box Score

Tribe falls to 76-72

It probably wasn't going to happen anyway, but the Indians eliminated themselves from playoff contention a week earlier than they could have thanks to another late blown lead to the Tigers. For the second straight day it was Bryan Shaw who gave up an eighth inning home run, and with the loss the only thing the Indians can control now is when they'll be mathematically eliminated.

Trevor Bauer pitched fairly well, allowing a fourth inning run, and a second, unearned, run after he left the game in the sixth inning. In the sixth, he allowed a Miguel Cabrera single to begin the frame, then Victor Martinez hit what should have been a double play ball at Carlos Santana, but Santana, in an attempt to position himself for the throw to second, turned his body paralell to the foul line. Had Santana caught the ball and began the double play, the pivot would have escaped everyone's notice, but because he missed the ball, we're talking about it in this recap. That missed play set things for events to occur both later that inning and later in the game, After JD Martinez singled in Cabrera, Terry Francona headed to the mound, as he was managing this game as if the season was on the line. Which, essentially it was.

The Indians had broken a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth thanks largely to a shaky performance by Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy, who walked Michael Bourn to load the bases, allowed a Jose Ramirez infield single, and hitting Michael Brantley. Carlos Santana would be unable to push more runs across by grounding out to end the threat. But still, the Indians now had a 3-1 lead, and just had to hold the Tigers at bay for four more at-bats.

Had Santana caught the ball and turned the double play in the bottom of the sixth inning, Trevor Bauer likely gets through the sixth inning and at the very least starts the seventh. That because he didn't, Kyle Crockett and Scott Atchison came into the game just to get out of the sixth inning, and Bryan Shaw came on in the bottom of the seventh, which presumably would have been the first of two innings of relief with the Indians clinging to a 3-2 lead. But Shaw, who had given up the winning runs last night, again would allow another late Detroit home run, this time a two-run homer off the bat of Ian Kinsler.

As it turned out, though, that home run would not provide the final margin of victory, as the Indians would get a run off Joe Nathan in the ninth, but because they had tacked on two extra runs in the eighth off CC Lee (one of which came when Lee uncorked a wild pitch during an intentional walk), that run would not tie the game.  The bullpen, which for most of the season had been virtually unassailable all season, has crumbled with just two weeks to go. The Indians had been walking a tightrope for a month now, with the starting staff and the bullpen being so good that the team was winning even with an anemic offense. But in the past two series against the Tigers, the Indians fell off that tightrope. Perhaps it was inevitable that the bullpen would eventually buckle under the load they'd been carrying all season, but it was painful nonetheless.

So let's all say a fond farewell to 2014, and look forward to 2015.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

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