Indians fall to 49-58
For eight innings, the Indians played about as well as they could play. With a lineup that would look at home in Columbus, the Indians scored three runs off Hector Santiago. Ryan Raburn, who returned to the lineup after an extended absence, drove in two of the runs (RBI single, solo homer) and Jose Ramirez, who looks like a completely different player from the beginning of the season, hit a solo home run in the sixth. Meanwhile, Danny Salazar dominated the Angels for six innings (a continuation of his start in Oakland), and Kyle Crockett, Zach McAllister, and Bryan Shaw combined to pitch two no-hit innings in relief. What you saw for eight innings was the recipe for this team to win; great pitching, and just enough offense.
The Cody Allen lost control of the strike zone. He struck out Mike Trout, the planet's best hitter, and got ahead of Albert Pujols 0-2, then hung a curve that Pujols served into center field. He got LGFT David Murphy to fly out to left field, but things unraveled quickly after that. He walked Erick Aybar on five pitches, then walked Conor Gillaspie to load the bases. Still, one good pitch at this point would have preserved the victory. But unfortunately he threw a very bad pitch to CJ Cron, and the Angels first baseman lined a game-tying single into the outfield. Then, to cap off the implosion, Allen uncorked a wild pitch, and the speedy Taylor Featherston (who pinch-ran for Gillaspie) slid under Allen's glove to score the winning run.
When the Indians get outplayed as a team, it's easy to get angry. But they weren't outplayed today; in fact they were for most of the game the much better team. Through the first eight innings of the game, Tribe pitchers allowed one run on three hits and two walks, and appeared on the verge of coming back to Cleveland with a winning record on the road trip despite scoring just 16 runs over the seven games. One pitcher imploded, and the Indians will fly back home with a 3-4 record. There's nothing at stake any longer for the 2015 team, so playoff positioning wasn't hurt, but even so, as a fan nothing hurts more than to go into the ninth thinking positive thoughts only to see all a lead carefully built and maintained toppled in the span of 10-12 pitches.
Win Expectancy Chart
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