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Game Recap: Indians lose 5-1 to Blue Jays

Five-run fourth sinks TJ House and the Indians

TJ House left in the fourth inning, having given up a walk and four straight hits without recording an out.
TJ House left in the fourth inning, having given up a walk and four straight hits without recording an out.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 5, Indians 1

Box Score

Indians fall to 7-14

Through three innings, it looked for all the world that Daniel Norris was the pitcher that would implode soon. He hadmade close to 75 pitches to get through those three innings, and at one point was one pitch from walking in a run. TJ House, on the other hand, had cruise through his first three frames, getting all nine outs via the ground ball.

But everything changed in the fourth inning. House walked Jose Bautista, then gave up four straight hits, then was pulled before he could get an out. Last Sunday House only pitched three innings because he was filling in for a sick Trevor Bauer, but this time he pitched just three innings because the Toronto Blue Jays suddenly had solved him. Ryan Webb made his Indians debut in relief of House, allowed a fifth run to score on a suicide squeeze, but got out of the inning with no further damage allowed. In fact, the Blue Jays would not score the rest of the night. Their entire offensive output came with the span of about fifteen minutes.

The Tribe hitters were the polar opposite; they were seemingly always threatening to score, but aside from a fifth inning RBI single by Michael Brantley, they were kept off the board by Norris, Jeff Francis, and the rest of the Toronto bullpen. Each of the five Blue Jay pitchers allowed at least one batter to reach base, but they stranded 12 of the Cleveland base runners on the night.

If you are looking for a silver lining in what was, literally and figuratively, a dark, dank, foggy, evening, Bryan Shaw pitched two impressive innings, striking out four and not allowing a base runner. But instead of those two innings coming in a high leverage situation, they came with the Indians down four runs.

So what can you make of TJ House's start to the 2015 season? The Indians have surprisingly not had a game postponed despite playing the vast majority of their April games outdoors and in the northern climes, but the scheduled off days has made the left-hander an outsider in terms of starts made. Better to disrupt one pitcher's  routine than to inconvenience the rest of the rotation, but even taking into account his odd schedule, House has pitched very poorly. Perhaps once he gets a normal four days of rest he'll return to what he was in 2014.

The Indians try to return to the winning side of the ledger tomorrow night. Game time is 7:10 PM.

Win expectancy chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

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