Indians 4, Yankees 5
Indians fall to 51-34
Some losses sting more than others. Thursday night’s 5-4 loss to the Yankees was one of the more painful of the season for plenty of reasons.
First, it’s the Yankees. Wins against the evil empire always feel a bit sweeter and losses that much more bitter. Beating the big-market bullies is always a blast.
Second, things looked great early on. Trevor Bauer, the Indians starter, looked fantastic in the first few innings, flashing his plus-plus stuff and striking out four Yanks through the first three innings.
On top of that, the offense got to Yankees starter Ivan Nova in the third inning, as Tyler Naquin and Jason Kipnis blasted solo home runs to give the Indians an early 2-0 lead.
Finally, more than a few tough breaks went against our Tribe to seal tonight’s fate. The Yankees got on the board with a Didi Gregorius homer in the fifth inning, which was smoked, but then had hit after hit after hit find holes in the infield to knock Bauer out of the game. When it was all said and done, Bauer gave up five runs on eight hits in just 5 and 2/3 innings.
The Indians haven’t been shy about rallying for amazing comeback wins this year, and tried again, scoring a run in the sixth and having great chances in the seventh and ninth innings.
In the seventh, Naquin reached on a two-out single. With Abraham Almonte pitch-hitting for Chris Gimenez, Naquin stole second to get into scoring position. Almonte, however, struck out and to make matters even worse, didn’t realize for a few excruciating seconds that the ball had gotten away from catcher Brian McCann. Pitcher Dellin Betances hung around the mound while all this was happening and did not cover the plate as Naquin was racing around third. Alas, with Almonte’s late start, McCann was able to throw him out on a bang-bang play at first base just as Naquin was reaching the plate. It was not Almonte’s finest moment in what has been a season of not-so-good moments so far.
The Tribe faced off against flamethrower Aroldis Champman in the ninth and got two men on for Naquin. With two outs, the rookie, who was facing arguably the nastiest left-handed pitcher in all of baseball, hit a hard ground-ball to first base that was bobbled. The hustling Naquin was initially ruled safe at first, which would have loaded the bases. Again, it wasn’t to be, as the Yankees challenge overturned the call and that was all she wrote.
The Indians will turn to Corey Kluber on Friday night to make things right with the world and get the Tribe back aboard the winning train. Chad Green is scheduled to start for the Yankees. Let’s Go Tribe!