Indians fall to 51-33
The bad news is the Cleveland Indians failed to sweep the Tigers for the bajillionth time this season and they lost their first game at Progressive Field since May 31... but the good news is they may have discovered a new foolproof method of playing first base.
According to the umpires of today's game, all you have to do is block first base and if the runner steps on you they are out. Boom, no more base runners.
Yes, the umpires made an obviously-wrong call when they declared Jason Kipnis out in the fifth inning, but like the ball that went off Miguel Cabrera's shin on Tuesday, it came at a time when the game was over enough to not get too upset about it. However, unlike that Cabrera play -- which cannot be reviewed -- the officiating crew in New York sat down, saw the play on tape, thought to themselves "Yeah, there's literally nowhere Kipnis can put his foot down on the bag but this is fine," and relayed that information to the umpires in Cleveland. That is a real thing that happened.
Whether or not the umpires made the right call (they didn't), so much more went poorly for the Tribe today that it would not really have mattered anyway. Josh Tomlin wanted to get all his negative regression out of the way in one game, the worst of the Indians bullpen showed up, Lindor actually committed a defensive error (!!), and Kipnis' bat crawled into a hole and died.
The early goings of this game looked like the usual Tiger-stomping affair we have come to know and love in 2016. Tomlin was cruising through the first couple innings, Steven Moya was doing his best Groot impersonation in the outfield, and the Indians were finding ways to score. Even the suspect parts of the Indians defense, such as Jose Ramirez in left field were looking great, including this running snow cone catch.
The problem was, unlike those earlier games, the Indians were not putting up double-digit leads by the fifth inning. Instead, they were relying on sacrifice flies and some good BABIP luck to get runs across the plate.
On Tomlin's regression, the Tribe's No. 5 starter lasted just 4.2 innings, striking out four in the process and allowing five earned runs off of seven hits. As with any sub-par Tomlin start, there were home runs involved. Two, in this case, which were responsible for all five of his earned runs.
Tommy Hunter looked great in his lone inning of relief, striking out two over 1.1 innings. Zach McAllister, on the other hand, continues to make me wonder how he is a member of the bullpen. Granted, this was in garbage time, but McAllister was pummeled for four earned runs off three hits. He could only get one Tigers batter out -- a Victor Martinez fly out -- before being mercifully yanked in favor of TJ House, who was making his first appearance in the majors since a lingering shoulder injury held him out of most of the 2015 season.
But enough of this moping and losing stuff. The Indians are still in first place in the AL Central, they were in within range of the best record in all of baseball, and there are only four more days until they get some much-needed rest at the All-Star break. Let's go Tribe.