There are a lot of things that can be said about a 10-7 loss. If you focus on the first score, you'll probably come to the conclusion that our pitching was a mess today; you'd be right. If you focus on the second score, you'll probably come to the conclusion that our hitters were getting the job done at the plate; you'd also be right. However, when both happen on the same day, you'll most likely end up writing a depressing recap such as this one.
Coming into the game today, Cody Anderson needed to have a strong showing. After having a solid start against the White Sox to start the season, he fell apart at the seams in his next start against the Mets. Today, we had a worse version of the Cody Anderson that we say give up 5 runs on April 15th. It's disheartening because, during Spring Training (and even at times today), Cody's fastball velocity seemed to be up, meaning that he may be able to blow past batters more often than he was able to last season. Today, this was not the case. Cody got knocked around a lot today and gave up 5 runs before being pulled in the middle of the 3rd inning. First blood was drawn when Steve Clevenger hit a home run off of Anderson in the second inning. Let me preface this by saying that, coming into today's game, Clevenger had a career OPS+ of 64 and had only ever hit 3 home runs. Let that sink in.
The rest of the Tribe pitching didn't do much to write home about, including rotation-hopeful Trevor Bauer. Many thought that, with Cody's early departure, this would be an excellent opportunity for Bauer to show that he's turned a corner and can make it as a starter. Well, his "audition" today was not a good one, as he promptly issued two walks upon entering the game. He, thankfully, didn't give up the long ball, but he still gave up 2 runs and only struck out 2 batters in 2 innings of work.
However, the game wasn't all doom and gloom. Tribe hitters proved that they can rally to come from behind, and the leaders of today's charge were two of the new guys, Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli. With the Tribe down 5-0, Davis launched a ball that carried over the 19 foot wall in LF to bring the Tribe to within 2 (Perez had drawn a walk and Tyler Naquin hit a single up the middle just prior). The crowd, and the team, seemed to come to life.
Sadly, response runs looked like they would do in the Tribe as the Mariners answered with two more runs the very next inning. Luckily, the Angry Hamster (who, at this point, should be playing every day) and the recently returned Lonnie Chisenhall responded with hits of their own to bring in two more runs, bringing the score to a still-competitive 7-5 at the end of the sixth. But the big hit wouldn't come until the eighth inning.
Tito is often criticized for his in-game management, but he seemed to be right on the money today with his game calling. With a man on and two outs in the eighth, Tito called on Mike Napoli to step to the plate to pinch hit for Roberto Perez. I was on my way back from lunch with a friend, and I turned on the radio just to hear Hammy's ecstatic voice as Napster launched a bomb to tie the game up.
Sadly, the excitement would be short lived as the Tribe couldn't end the game in regulation. When the game went into bonus baseball, an already taxed Cody Allen had to face Robinson Cano and...he did Robinson Cano things. A 3-run shot to center field effectively ended the game as the Tribe went quietly in the bottom of the inning.
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