Indians fall to 56-40
In one of the more twisted instances of deja vu that I've seen in recent memory, the Cleveland Indians came to bat in the top of the second inning down 3-0 thanks to a home run by Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the first, just like they did last night. The pitcher was different, but the results were much the same as the Tribe found themselves in an early hole that they couldn't get out of all night.
Tonight was just not the night for the Cleveland Indians, and it was evident in the first inning when
Tonight was just not the night for the Cleveland Indians, and it was evident in the first inning when a slow turn by Jason Kipnis on a what should have been inning ending double play was not completed to extend the inning. The speedy (?) Chris Davis hustled to beat out a throw from Lindor to bring up
The speedy (?) Chris Davis hustled to beat out a throw from Lindor to bring up Mark Trumbo. My buddy loved Trumbo when he was playing for the Angels despite him not being the best at baseball. But one thing Trumbo does well is hit home runs, and for the second night in a row
But one thing Trumbo does well is hit home runs, and for the second night in a row, the Baltimore right fielder launched a Trumbomb into the atmosphere to essentially end the game after one inning.
You may have noticed that just as I was getting into a portion of my recap, the flow ended abruptly and I started over. I am merely imitating the Cleveland Indian offense from tonight. Seemingly every time the offense got something going, someone would come up to the plate and hit into a double play to erase any sort of momentum that the Tribe had started to build. Lonnie Chisenhall grounded into a double play to end the fourth, Roberto Perez grounded into a double play to end the fifth, and Jason Kipnis grounded out in the sixth to clear the bases. I don't want to take anything away from starter Kevin Gausman because he pitched a solid game, but he was bailed out more than once by the Tribe's inability to hit the ball out of the infield in key situations.
Double plays, while abundant for the home team, seemed to elude the Cleveland squad, and two missed double plays (one in the first and one in the seventh) resulted in four runs for the Orioles. In looking at the final box score, thanks to some Lonnie Chisenhall heroics in the top of the ninth, those four runs ended up being the difference in the game. Now, it's impossible to say whether or not the score would have been the same had the circumstances changed, but it's discouraging to live and die by the double play, which Cleveland did tonight.
Shifting focus briefly to Josh Tomlin, the Indians' starter had a rough first inning, but he rebounded and pitched phenomenally the rest of the way. In true Tomlin fashion, he walked no one; in a-Tomlin fashion, he struck out 8. Had Tomlin's defense (and offense) picked him up a bit more tonight, this game could have gone much differently. It was mentioned in the game thread, but Tomlin has been incredibly efficient for the Indians this season, and he's our #5 starter. Tonight's start, high strikeout count aside, was textbook Tomlin: no walks, pinpoint precision, and the occasional mistake pitch that ends up in the bleachers (I think the home run hit by Pedro Alvarez is still going).
Tidbits from tonight's game
- Kipnis nabbed a hit in the top of the ninth to start a mini-rally. That hit extended Kip's hitting streak to seven games.
- Francisco Lindor was the only player for the Indians to have more than one hit on the evening. Hopefully the bats wake up in the series finale.
- At the end of the third inning, fans at Camden Yards experienced what has to be one of the shortest rain delays in baseball history. The tarp was literally rolled out onto the field and then rolled back up about 2 minutes later.
- For some reason, Juan Uribe pinch hit for Tyler Naquin in the ninth inning just one day after getting hit in the head with a wild pitch. He grounded out to end the game.
- Lonnie Chisenhall's lone hit on the night brought in two runs in the top of the ninth inning. This forced Orioles' manager Buck Showalter to bring in closer Zach Britton for his third game in a row. One would think that this would mean that he is unavailable to pitch tomorrow.
- Both the Orioles and the Indians have a season record of 56-40. Tomorrow's game will determine who has the best record in the AL (for now).
At the time of this writing, the White Sox lead the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh 3-2, and the Rangers have beaten the Royals 7-4. A White Sox win tonight will mean that the Tribe loses no ground in the Central. Tomorrow's 1:35 PM ET start time features Vance Worley facing off against Corey Kluber as the Tribe looks to avoid the sweep.