Indians fall to 77-78
I write recaps on Mondays. I come home from work, hoping to navigate an Interstate riddled with potholes, bridge construction, lane expansion and tractor trailer drivers who aren't paying attention, so that I can post the Game Thread on time. If there is still some of that precious time to spare, I might start dinner, grab a drink or finish up a couple of chores around the house before I climb onto the couch, hoping for something good to write about in 3 or so hours. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't. But it's baseball and we love it regardless of the outcome. Baseball is beautiful and ugly, poetic and unforgiving. A single person's actions can ruin an otherwise great game and great team play can overcome some of the largest individual errors. Baseball is what we come back for.
The Astros are already up 2-0 in the first inning as I write this, so barring some miracle win streak for us and losing streak for everyone else, this will probably be my last recap of the year. It got off to a rocky start when Corey Kluber gave up 3 runs in the first and it never fully recovered. Rookie phenom and all around stud Francisco Lindor answered with a solo home run, but the Twins would get that run back in the 4th.
Kluber battled his way through 6 innings giving up 4 runs, 3 of which came in that 1st inning. It wasn't his best outing but he still managed to strike out 6 in the process and hold the Twins to within striking distance. Jason Kipnis led off with a triple in the 6th that he nearly attempted to turn into an inside the park home run, before coming home on a Lindor ground out. Standing on third, Kipnis tried desperately to pump up his teammates but, like the late season surge in the standings, the rally too would fizzle out. In that moment it really did feel like we were all Kipnisses, trying to will ourselves across a finish line that we just couldn't reach.
Tommy Milone, an emergency starter, along with the Twins bullpen, held the Indians easily in check for most of the night. The only two extra base hits for the Tribe, Lindor's home run and Kip's triple, resulted in the only runs scored. Yan Gomes went 2-4 on the night, but the rest of the offense failed to get anything going, stuck seemingly in a hangover from the conclusion of the Royals series. The light grows dimmer.
This may seem grim or blue or a bit of a downer, but it shouldn't. Because this game was meaningful. We came out on the wrong end, but it meant something. Yesterday's, though a miracle is needed, will be meaningful, too. And if you had told me that we'd be this close while we were struggling in May, I wouldn't have believed you. But I'm now at peace with the reality that has been creeping in for the last week - the end is nigh.
But I'm encouraged for 2016, I'm encouraged by the play and the passion on the field and I'm encouraged by the commitment shown by the players on this roster. I look forward to being back here on April 4th, 2016, because I write recaps on Mondays.
Win Expectancy Chart
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