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Cleveland Indians time base hits perfectly in order to accomplish almost nothing

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Despite nine base hits and another reasonable start from Trevor Bauer, the Indians looked exactly like the kind of team that draws 13,000 fans on a regular basis.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 1, Twins 5

Box Score

Indians fall to 17-17


The Cleveland Indians could not string together any base hits and swatted only one for extra bases today in a 5-1 loss at home against the Minnesota Twins.

Both versions of Trevor Bauer pitched at different times today. Throughout the first inning he looked uncomfortable, falling behind 3-0 on the first batter and walking the second. Miguel Sano grounded into an inning-ending double play, but the location issues manifested themselves again in the second inning. Byung-Ho Park doubled and then waited patiently for the Twins to drive him home on a two-out single by Eddie Rosario. Juan Centeno doubled him home, and the Indians found themselves down two runs moments after being a strike from recording another scoreless inning.

After this, Bauer retired the next 12 batters that he faced. The more I watch Bauer, the more I believe that this is exactly the pitcher he will remain until the day he retires. Like the weather in the midwest, he will shift from magnificent to appalling and back again before you can even comment on it. There are occasionally violent tornadoes that level everything, and one time, a tropical storm.

As if to emphasize the general feeling of the afternoon, it began to snow in the top of the sixth inning. Fans scurried up the steps for cover, and Bauer — perhaps feeling miserable like the rest of us at the thought of snow two weeks before Memorial Day — broke his streak of consecutive batters retired. He continued to be effective into the seventh inning despite giving up a solo home run to Jorge Polanco. He left the game with two outs in the sixth after allowing 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, and striking out 8. This counts as a quality start, as riffed upon in the game thread intro, but the Indians offense could not find a way to get on the board.

Two Indians baserunners threatened the Twins in the third, fourth, and ninth inning, but failed to score a run. In both instances the second baserunner reached with two outs. The Indians slugged singles with two out in the sixth and seventh as well, but to no avail. I'm never sure if I should be criticising the offense in a situation like this, or just feel annoyed at the timing of the hits — something players don't necessarily control in my opinion. If I can't attribute fault, let it be known that it is exceptionally annoying to see all of these two-out singles followed by Jason Kipnis's leadoff solo shot in the eighth.

In the top of the ninth Tyler Naquin backed into the wall and dropped a catchable ball, allowing two runs to score. All hope had already died at this point, but on occasion the game of baseball likes to repeatedly stab fans in the eyes and cackle maniacally on top of murdering hope. Today: stab happy.

Other than Kipnis's home run, here are the other small bright spots:
Joba Chamberlain recorded four consecutive strikeouts in the seventh and eighth inning.
Jose Ramirez slapped two singles and raised his batting average to .315.
The sun came out for a little bit in the 8th inning.
No one got hurt?

Tomorrow night the Indians start a two game series against their bitter rivals the Cincinnati Reds. Cody Anderson and Danny Salazar are listed as the probable starters. After this, they face the Sox Family, starting with a three game set in Boston and a four game set in Chicago. The Indians actually play eleven games in the next ten days, as the 23rd is a doubleheader.

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