Indians fall to 26-23
And tonight's KeyBank key to the game: nobody has gotten hurt. One of those nights. The Indians haven't really done anything to speak of.
— Tom Hamilton
There are a few contenders for the most "impressive" factoid about today's game for the Cleveland Indians. Some might suggest the four double plays into which the Indians hit during the final five innings of play. Others could point to the ejection of manager Terry Francona shortly after arguing that Mitch Moreland exited the basepath before Josh Tomlin bounced a throw to first off of the back of his helmet. Finally, we must all consider the four errors committed jointly by Juan Uribe and Tomlin, two of which happened on the same play.
Yes, those all deserve consideration, but they are all wrong and stupid. Each and every one of us must bow down to the three-inning save recorded today by Cesar Ramos. I cannot remember the last time a pitcher hurled a three inning save against the Indians. And yes, hurled is the exact right adjective for this "feat".
Before running into tonight's buzzsaw while on fire and evaporating, Tomlin had yet to pick up a losing decision on the season in eight starts. The Indians were 16-2 in his previous eighteen starts, but today nothing seemed to go right for Tomlin. Seven pitches into this afternoon's game, Tomlin had already allowed two hits and two runs. In total, Tomlin allowed eight runs, but only four of those are earned. Two pitches after Tomlin left the game, Austin Adams threw a baseball that Nomar Mazara hit 453 feet to straightaway center field.
There's sort of an odd justice to it. The Indians committed four errors, and as a result of those errors they allowed four unearned runs. The universe remains in balance, which apparently means that it is opposed to all signs of life in Cleveland. Are we sure that Progressive Field isn't in an evil Dwarf Fortress region? It is terrifying. It was inevitable.
As for the offense, it's not as if the Indians struggled to figure out Derek Holland's pitching. They tagged him for six hits, walking twice and striking out only twice in six innings. Unfortunately, in three of the four innings that the Indians recorded multiple hits, they also grounded into a double play. The only Indians runs came on solo bombs by Mike Napoli and Marlon Byrd after the Indians allowed nine runs. They never had a chance in this game; according to Fangraphs, they never had better than a 2% chance to win the game after the top of the fourth inning. In other words, putting all of your money on black 22 in roulette would have been a better bet.
While the result should frustrate any Indians fans, there were a few positive takeaways from the game. Ryan Merritt made his Major League debut to start the fifth inning and did not leave the game until the top of the ninth. He faced the minimum number of hitters by inducing a double play both times a Ranger reached base. He threw only 40 pitches to work through 4.1 innings. Marlon Byrd went 4-4 at the plate today and needed only nine pitches to do it. And, as Hamilton pointed out, everyone on the Indians roster is still alive as far as we know.
Tomorrow night, look for Corey Kluber to take hostages and make outrageous demands to make up for today's ransacking. He'll face off against Colby Lewis, who allowed six runs in five innings in his previous start.