Tribe falls to 6-13
Gutsy pitching. Clutch hitting. Solid defense. All those things went right for the Indians tonight, until the 7th inning. From then on, this game was carcinogenic. In a young season full of difficult-to-watch games, this one took the cake and smashed it into all of our faces.
Trevor Bauer was not at his best today. He was pushed back a few days due to a bad case of food poisoning, and it was clear to me at least that he was still recovering. regardless, the young buck put in a solid performance, holding the Royals to just three runs over six innings. For a while there, it looked like that would be enough.
The Indians got some key hits today from guys who were in desperate need of a confidence boost. With the Tribe down 1-0 in the 2nd, Michael Bourn stepped up with a two-out, two RBI single to put the Indians temporarily on top. The Royals got one back in the fourth, and the game would stay tied until an Alex Gordon RBI single put KC up in the 6th. With Bauer done for the night, it was up to the offense to come through for their starter, and come through they did. The first two batters of the Tribe 6th reach base, and Brandon Moss delivered with a towering three-run bomb. With Bauer now in line for the win, things were looking good. Moss, though was the last Indian to touch home tonight. Unfortunately, nine more Royals would touch it before the night was over. Where did it all go wrong?
Roughly 99% of the collapse can be attributed to the bullpen, with the other 1% left to the defense. Neither of these should come as huge surprises. Scott Atchison, who used to be good, came on to start the 7th in relief of Bauer. A signle and two doubles later, the game was tied. Next in line was Scrabble. A single, an error by Brett Hayes, and a not-quite error by Jose Ramirez helped plate the go-ahead run for KC. Bryan Shaw stepped in to douse the flames in kerosene, giving up a three-run blast to Kendrys MF Morales. Surely, that was it, right? Hahahahaha. Nope.
The Royals piled on two more in the 9th, thanks to two, two-out singles off of Anthony Swarzak. Meanwhile, the Indians offense essentially hit the showers early. Five runs is about as much as you can expect from this offense lately, outliers notwithstanding. Carlos Santana was the only Tribesman to reach base after the 6th inning. The Royals plated 11 runs on 18 hits, 11 of which came from the 7th inning on.
If I'm forced to find some positives here, I'd say it's good to see Bourn and Moss coming through in the clutch. I'd also credit Bauer with a solid performance despite his recent illness. But an L is an L. With that L, the Indians' fourth in a row, they lose yet another series, and another important series to a divisional rival. There is little ground left to give. If this trend continues, the Tribe may well be looking at de facto elimination by May, barring a late summer miracle. Not a fun time to be an Indians fan.
Win probability chart
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