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Cleveland Indians swept by Phillies, drop to 10-12

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The good news is that there are 140 games left, and the Indians probably won't lose all of them even though it feels inevitable right now.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Indians 1, Phillies 2

Box Score

Indians fall to 10-12

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It feels ridiculous to keep writing this, but one inning in particular doomed the Indians this afternoon.

Danny Salazar cruised into the third inning with five consecutive strikeouts and no baserunners allowed. He induced a popout from Cesar Hernandez, and then faced off against Vince Velasquez. You know, the other pitcher. Salazar got two quick strikes, and then walked Velazquez on four consecutive balls.

At least, this is what the record of the game will show. Let's take a quick look at some of these pitches that were determined — by someone who is paid quite a lot of money — to be balls.

JUST KIDDING. Brooks Baseball doesn't even have the at bat in their system. I can only hope that they're so embarrassed for umpire Larry Vanover that they're refusing to release records. They can neither confirm nor deny that the at-bat ever happened. Here's the plot for the entire game, and you should be able to spot the offending pitches pretty quickly:

I'm not saying that these are bad calls...but if Larry Vanover made judgement calls like this in an office job, he would be fired and banned from all industry functions by lunch. It would be too late. The entire electronics industry vanishes by the afternoon, and the progress of technology is forever halted. God dammit, Larry.

I like that umpires still call balls and strikes. I like that human judgement still affects baseball more than most other sports, whether it's a call by the umpires or a move to the bench by a manager. On the other hand an inning like this makes me start to wonder if I just enjoy pain and suffering.

Partially as a result of these calls, Salazar moved to the stretch, and things fell apart. Peter Bourjos singled. Freddy Galvis singled in a run. Salazar slipped and balked in another. After this, Maikel Franco popped out, and Salazar escaped the inning after throwing 33 pitches. In the top of the fourth, the grounds crew came out and fixed the mound for Velazquez.

What after this? Velazquez retired nine straight Indians hitters. Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus spent a significant portion of the game discussing the surprising longevity of the Philly Phanatic's schtick. Is it the costume? Is it the face? Is it the shoes? It's gotta be the shoes. At one point, I even considered downloading RBI baseball because the highlights they showed between innings seemed a lot more interesting than the game.

There were a few bright spots. Jason Kipnis battled in the top of the sixth, logging the following fourteen pitch at-bat:

This guaranteed that the Phillies bullpen would get to work in the seventh, but other than a Carlos Santana home run in the ninth that Hammy couldn't even get excited about, nothing came of it.

The Indians have the day off tomorrow. After the brief break, they start a six-game homestand against the Tigers and Royals. At least for now, there is no probable starter for Saturday against the Royals.

If you feel discouraged by all of this and are in a bit of a TL;DR kind of mood, here's a quick gif to recap the game:



Let's hope the Indians turn things around against their primary opponents for the division title.


Source: FanGraphs

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