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Cleveland Indians bats remain mostly silent in 5-1 loss to Athletics

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The offense owes Cody Anderson's family an apology.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Indians 1, Athletics 5

Box Score

Indians fall to 48-54

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Cody Anderson, a California native, had dozens of members of his family in the crowds cheering for him in tonight's game. Unfortunately, for them, as with the rest of us, they had to watch the Cleveland Indians offense be shut down by a rookie making his second career start.

If Anderson's family came out just to watch him, they likely had a fun time, though. The Indians rookie had a great outing, going 6.2 innings while allowing six hits and four runs (three earned), but two of the runs would not have made it home were it not for a major defensive blunder.

With two outs in the fifth inning, Sam Fuld hit a line drive that bounced in front of Lonnie Chisenhall, who then threw a bullet to home to catch a score-bound Marcus Semien. Just a play earlier Chisenhall proved his arm strength with a similar throw that caught Max Muncy out at the plate, but this time around, Carlos Santana pulled out from first base and cut the ball off. His throw to third to get Eric Sogard failed spectacularly as he hurled the ball a good foot over a leaping Giovanny Urshela.

The play at both bases looked about even, so at the very least, it is hard to blame Carlos for coming out and cutting off the throw, but his put out attempt was just hideous. Were it not for such a bad throw, the Tribe would have held down a 1-1 tie until Semien’s home run later on in the seventh inning. It was just a disappointing play that made a comeback even more difficult for the already lackluster Indians offense.

With the four other starting pitchers either all going the distance or getting through the eighth inning, it has been a while since we have seen the bullpen in action. That changed tonight as Anderson was pulled after two outs in the sixth. The bullpen showed no signs of rust, and Zach McAllister (sporting an even longer beard) finished off the seventh inning, then Bryan Shaw and Jeff Manship came in to clean up the rest. The only run allowed by the bullpen came in part because Francisco Lindor made a rare defensive mistake by not following through with a tag that would have caught Sam Fuld off the bag. Instead, Fuld stayed on second and was knocked home one batter later.

It is still early to make any sweeping statements on Chisenhall, but if this game is any indication, the trip down to the Triple-A did some good for the third baseman turned right fielder. Not only did he have two perfect bullet throws that would have probably got both runners out at home (remember, Santana stopped one of them), but he also took a couple of great routes to hard-hit balls. In particular, Lonnie tracked down a ball in the second inning hit by Semien that would have at least scored the runner from third had it landed, but Chisenhall’s route was perfect and he caught up to it.

Offensively, Chisenhall was also the team’s only major contribution with his fifth-inning moonshot of a home run. Rick Manning keeps continually harping on the fact that Lonnie is a low-ball hitter, and that is exactly the pitch that he drilled out of the stadium. If he could only find a way to catch up to fastballs, he could be a vital part of the lineup. As it is, he’s at least going to make it a difficult decision whether or not to give him every day playing time next year.

Win Expectancy Chart


Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

GameThread

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