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Bullpen collapse negates solid Salazar start, renders offensive struggles moot in Indians loss

The Dzar made one mistake pitch but was solid otherwise. His offense and bullpen completely forsook him (nb: I checked, and that's totally a real word).

Jean Segura makes an arm motion to indicate how many runners the Tribe left stranded
Jean Segura makes an arm motion to indicate how many runners the Tribe left stranded
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Brewers 8, Indians 1

box score

Indians plummet to 44-48

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Recap

The Indians picked up in Milwaukee right where they left off in Cincinnati. No, that doesn't mean they kept winning. They did, however, continue the trend of abysmal hitting with runners in scoring position. Tonight, thanks to a tremendous bullpen meltdown, they weren't able to pull out a lucky win as they did on Sunday.

The Indians collected nine hits tonight, but went just 1-11 with RISP, leaving seven total on base. Shockingly, they were still in it through six innings, thanks to a strong start by Danny Salazar. The Dzar gave up a leadoff triple to Gerardo Parra to start the game, and Parra would score on a ground out. In the 2nd, Salazar made a mistake pitch and allowed Jean Segura to hit just his fourth homer of the season to put the Brewers up 3-0. After that, the Brewers went hitless until the 7th. Salazar looked solid, striking out eight and walking three over six innings.

In the 7th, a Yan Gomes ground rule double set up a one out RISP situation for Giovanny Urshela, who became the 1 in 1-11 with an RBI double. But because the Indians were still down two, and because the NL is stupid, Salazar was pulled for pinch hitter David Murphy. Murphy promptly struck out. The game was left in the hands of the Indians bullpen and inept offense.

Zach McAllister came on in relief for the Tribe in the bottom of the 7th. He faced four batters, and retired zero of them. Segura led off the inning with a single, and stole second on a ball Yan Gomes threw into center field. Somebody called Scooter Gennett singled to score Segura. Another walk and another single later, and that was all for The Attach. Next up was Ryan Webb, who got Jonathan Lucroy to ground into a nifty 6-2-3 double play, giving the Indians hope that not all was lost. That hope was short lived. Ryan Braun grounded into what should have been the third out, but Francisco Lindor rushed a terrible throw, which was deflected by an even worse scoop attempt by Carlos Santana. Another run scored. Kyle Crockett came on for one batter, and gave up an RBI single to Adam Lind. Jeff Manship relieved Crockett, and final got the third out - but not before another RBI single by Carlos Gomez. The Brewers scored four total to take a 7-1 lead heading into the 8th.

What had been a winnable game squandered by tragic offense was now rendered un-winnable thanks to the bullpen going supernova. But let's not lose sight of just how horrendous the offense was. Collectively, the team grounded into *four* inning-ending double plays tonight. Brandon Moss contributed two of those. Lindor had one, in addition to his throwing error. The real goat of the game, which will come as no surprise, was Michael Bourn. Bourn grounded into just one inning-ending double play, but also struck out in every one of his other at-bats. To add insult to injury, he turned what would have been a single if he was a competent CF into Parra's second triple of the night. Parra's triple scored that Gennett dude to put the poop icing on this dirt cake of a game for the Indians.

Listless and looking increasingly defeated by the day, the Indians will have to think hard about their position as the trade deadline nears. It's a real, depressing possibility that we should be sellers. It's an even more depressing possibility that we might not have anything worth selling. I don't necessarily believe that. It has been seemingly impossible to get this team to fire on all cylinders this year, and that has made this one of the most frustrating seasons I've ever watched. The hitting is there, just not at the right times. The pitching is there, except when it disappears. And the defense is improving, except for all those holes. It's so difficult to pinpoint the problems, but so easy to say "this team sucks" when we know that's not *really* the case. The only thing I can be sure of at this point is that I do not envy Chris Antonetti.

Win Expectancy Chart


Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

GameThread

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