Indians fall to 9-16
The way it went down
The majority of Indians losses this year have been catastrophic in one way or another, or at least it seems that way. You can generally point to dreadful offense, a bullpen implosion, or a starter giving up buckets of runs as the cause of the downfall. Tonight was a bit different. Every part of the team was just kind of crappy. Danny Salazar pitched a decent game but gave up some big hits. The offense hit two homers but only collected four hits total. The bullpen only gave up one run, but it was enough to put the game comfortably out of reach. Equal amounts of suck from all sides of the coin contributed to a hum-drum, May baseball loss.
If you look a bit deeper, you can probably put a great deal of the blame on the offense. Michael Brantley smacked a two-run shot in the first to give the Indians an early lead. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a solo bomb in the 8th to put the Tribe within one run. They managed just two hits throughout the entirety of the rest of the game. Jason Vargas was sort of good, I guess, striking out five over six innings, which is a lot for him. He wasn't setting the world on fire by any means, though. Even given their propensity to struggle against lefties, this was a pretty sad performance by the Tribe offense.
Salazar had a very Salazar-ian game. He immediately gave back the Indians' early lead by throwing a meatball to Hammy's boy Eric Hosmer, putting the Royals up 3-2 in the bottom of the 1st. Over the course of seven innings, he gave up just one more run (on an Alex Gordon RBI single) and struck out nine Royals without walking anyone. For most of the time, he looked dominant. His fastball was well-located, and his changeup was sharp. The three-run homer just broke his back, unfortunately.
After Chisenhall's homer in the 8th gave the tribe some hope for a comeback, Nick Hagadone came on to give up a fifth run, which would prove to be more than enough for the Royals to put the Indians out of their misery. Also in the 8th, Carlos Santana flipped over the tarp trying to catch a foul ball. Outside of the Brantley homer, this was probably the most entertaining individual occurrence of the game. Nick Swisher wasn't exactly the spark we hoped for, going hitless with a strikeout, buy hey, it was bro's first game back. Maybe the magic will return eventually.
So just in case that last game against the Blue Jays gave you some hope, this game happened as a way to remind us all that we still are a pretty bad team. I'm not going to look up how many series openers we've lost or how many other streaks of negative whateverness have happened this season, because frankly I don't care. It's all starting to blend together. It might be time to stop fretting, stop being so negative, lower our expectations, and just enjoy baseball for what it is. Worse case scenario, baseball is still baseball, i.e. the best sport on the planet. Best case scenario, we win a few games in a row and actually manage to get back into the conversation. A man can dream, eh?
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