Indians fall to 2-2
It would be easy to place all the blame for this Cleveland Indians loss squarely on Bryan Shaw. After all, he did come into the game with a one-run lead and allow a career-worst five earned runs in a single inning. But that would be selling the rest of the Indians blunders of this game short.
Let's just run down the list of everyone who dun goofed up today, shall we?
I said we should not place all of the blame on Shaw, but a lot of it certainly deserves to be there. Shaw's no good very bad seventh inning started bad and got worse. He kicked things off by allowing two straight hits -- a single for Austin Jackson and a double for Jimmy Rollins. A smart intentional walk of Jose Abreu followed, then Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera both brought runs home before Avisail Garcia cleared the bases with a three-run home run.
Shaw had no business being in the game after the first couple batters (which I will touch on in a bit). Everything he was throwing was flat and up over the plate and the White Sox lineup crushed everything. Just an ugly outing altogether.
Bringing Shaw, who is traditionally a setup man, in the seventh inning is a little weird, but I will not fault Terry Francona for trying to bring in whoever he thinks is best for a situation no matter what their bullpen "role" may be. However, the fact that Shaw stayed in for so many batters when his stuff clearly was not there this afternoon is another story.
Reliever Zach McAllister was not mercifully brought in until all the damage was done. I can understand wanting to let a guy work out of his own mess, but again, Shaw's ineptitude tonight was painfully obvious. At the very very least, McAllister should have been in there to face Garcia -- not Shaw.
Holy hell, you guys, what happened? The Indians committed a total of three errors by the end of the fourth inning (and at that point they had more errors than hits), but there were even more mental mistakes that cost the team in the game.
Jason Kipnis, in particular, refused to pull the trigger when he could have potentially had a double play, and he watched a foul ball fall between him and Mike Napoli that would have been an easy out. He also had a terrible throw that forced to Lindor to come off the bag instead of having an easy double play opportunity.
I still don't think I have seen Juan Uribe make a straight throw from third to first, he is just lucky that Napoli has been on his game defensively, so far.
It was pretty amazing that, after four innings, the Indians were down only 2-0 against Chris Sale. It sure did feel like a blowout, but somehow they were still hanging on at that point. I have to think that Francisco Lindor has a lot to do with the fact that the Indians didn't give up many more runs.
Blame the cold, blame the early season jitters, blame whatever. Just get it fixed soon.
A freak occurrence
Probably the most depressing to happen today was Collin Cowgill accidentally bunting a line drive that turned into a double play. He tried to check his swing off an inside pitch from Chris Sale, but instead the ball ricocheted directly to the first baseman, which was caught, then Jose Ramirez was tagged out at first for an inning-ending double play.
The Indians front office for not trading for Todd Frazier
If only they would have given up two of their top prospects for a season-and-a-half of Frazier they would have won this game. Because that is totally how it works.
* * *
Ok, blame game aside, there was actually some good in this game. Cody Anderson may not have looked perfect, but his velocity was pretty close to the 97 we were seeing in spring training. He was touching 96 at times and consistently in the 94-95 range, which is nice. It still did not help him much, as he only struck out two batters and allowed six hits, but if he can work a higher velocity alongside his developing cutter he could be a solid No. 4 starter, yet.
Yan Gomes and Mike Napoli also tallied their first home runs of the season. Nothing against Napoli's blast, but Gomes' was particularly pretty to watch, especially with him coming back from such a nagging injury last season. Even if it means I have to be wrong on the "outlandish" prediction I made on Let's Talk Tribe that Roberto Perez would have more PA than Gomes, I hope he really is back to his former self.
Win Expectancy Chart
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