Indians fall to 14-13
After sweeping the Tigers (for the second time this season) and taking game 1 of this series from the Royals, it seemed as if the Cleveland Indians would never lose a game against the AL Central again. Unfortunately, that dream was shattered today at the hands of Ian Kennedy and the Kansas City Royals. The Indians couldn't muster hardly any offense today, and the Royals easily defeated the Tribe by a score of 7-0.
Coming into the game, the big question was whether or not recently promoted Cody Anderson could have a good game and start to turn his poor 2016 campaign around. Sadly, Mr. Anderson displayed more of the same sub-par pitching that we have seen so far this season. Things started off poorly in the first when Anderson served up a meatball to Kendrys Morales, who promptly launched it into
orbit the right field seats. With the way the offense performed today, 3 runs was easily enough to win the game, but the Royals went on to add four more throughout the course of the game (the indestructible Jeff Manship gave up his first runs of the season when he gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in the eighth). At the end of the day, Anderson's final line on the day was 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. It wasn't terrible, and when three of those runs were at the expense of one pitch, it's a little easier to accept. But regardless of what the box score does or doesn't say, Anderson looked hittable all game. He wasn't missing many bats (as evidenced by his low K total), and the Royals took advantage. My guess is that Anderson will get at least one more shot to prove that he is an MLB-caliber pitcher before getting sent back down.
The other side of the story from today is the lack of offense, which was surprising considering how well the Tribe has been swinging the bat as of late. The team did strikeout seven times on the day, but that wasn't the issue. The issue came from the fact that the Tribe's situational hitting seemed to disappear. There were many opportunities to score and get back into the game, but no one on the offense was able to get that critical hit to push runs across the plate. There were three key situations that the Tribe failed to capitalize on:
- 1st inning: Runners on 1st and 3rd with one out
- 6th inning: Bases loaded with two outs
- 8th inning: Runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out
In all three scenarios, the Indians failed to push anyone across. Of the six hits that the Tribe recorded today, the only extra base hit came off the bat of Jason Kipnis in the eighth when he laced a double to right field. In total, the Tribe left 12 men on base, which is not a recipe for success.
All is not lost, though, as the Indians still have a chance to take the series and end their current home stand with an impressive 5-1 record if they can bounce back tomorrow. Josh Tomlin takes the mound for the Tribe tomorrow, and if his recent string of starts is any indication, the Indians have a great chance to come away with a series win.