Indians fall to 55-64
Corey Kluber pitched a one-hitter his last time out, the only hit he gave up a Joe Mauer home run. Not all of the hits Kluber gave up tonight were home runs, but it sure seemed like it. The Red Sox hit four run runs off Kluber, with the big blow a three-run
popup homer off the bat of Jackie Bradley, Jr. Kluber did get through six inning, so at least the bullpen didn't have to be used extensively in two straight games. His stuff wasn't a problem, as he struck out nine, but he made several critical mistakes (and was hurt by Fenway Park's dimensions on Bradley's homer).
The Indians have had some good offensive games in the month of August, but tonight wasn't one of them. They had opportunities against Joe Kelly (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 SO), but three double plays short-circuited some rallies, and strikeouts short-circuited the rest. The lone run of the evening came, appropriately enough, on a double play. Jason Kipnis returned to the lineup, which should help the offense, but didn't help tonight, going 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts. Kipnis didn't go on a rehab assignment, so he'll probably need some time to get back up to speed. The Indians made it close when Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, but they went in order in the ninth inning.
Jose Ramirez made his MLB debut in the outfield tonight, and it just so happened that debut came in perhaps the most unique fielding position in the American League. He played left field in the shadow of the Green Monster, and didn't look bad at all. Ramirez was playing left field because Michael Brantley can't play the field right now, but perhaps the assignment is a sign that the Indians are looking at Ramirez as a future utility man. On a team with 7 or 8-man bullpens, your bench players need to be able to back up several positions, and possibly disparate positions, as evidenced by what Mike Aviles has done. Ramirez is likely going to take over Aviles' role in 2016, which means this won't be the last time we'll see him get an occasional outfield assignment.
The Indians now head to New York to face the first-place Yankees. Josh Tomlin will be on the hill for Game 1 tomorrow night.
Win Expectancy Chart
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