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Abraham Almonte’s defense less than good in Cleveland Indians’ 7-4 loss to Nationals

Mysterious yellow orb remains in sky, continues to ruin Indians' season.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 4, Nationals 7

Box score

Indians fall to 63-47

* * *

To the Cleveland Indians’ credit, they did manage to keep this game competitive for a full inning and even made it look like they were about to make it competitive for several innings after. Unfortunately for them, anyone not named Jose Ramirez could not hit with runners in scoring position and Lonnie Chisenhall pinch-hit a ball directly into the ground.

For all the offensive woes of this game, the blame is mostly on the shoulders of Abraham Almonte. His first defensive blunder came early in the game. In the bottom of the first, with one out and no one on, Jayson Werth hit a ball that ended up juuuust out of Almonte’s range. On a day with no sun, Almonte probably gets that ball nine times out of ten, but he clearly lost track of it pretty early in his route and he was lucky to be as close as he was. If you want to dog on him for missing it, fine, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that one that.

It also helped that, in the next inning, Almonte immediately erased his own mistake by hitting a big double to right field that scored Brandon Guyer to tie the game. The good will only lasted a couple innings, however.

That first blunder wound up helping the Washington Nationals score the first run of the game, but it was Almonte’s second defense miscue that really did them in. In a very similar situation in the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy came up to bat with two on and no outs. This time, Almonte was right under the ball, threw his glove up and... it clunked off and fell harmlessly to the ground. That gave the Nationals the lead, then two batters later Anthony Rendon doubled to effectively put the Tribe away.

Of course, it’s not all Abe’s fault. If the balls are not in the outfield anyway he does not have to be good at fielding them to begin with. Instead, it was Josh Tomlin who allowed seven earned runs and got knocked out by the fifth inning for the second-straight start. To be fair, two of those runs came with Dan Otero on the mound and earned runs are stupid, but still. I have little faith that Tomlin would have left those runners stranded.

Otero has been a quiet surprise this season, and he finished this game allowing one hit in two innings of relief, which is a very familiar situation for the Tribe’s new long reliever.

Offensively, as previously mentioned, no one besides Jose Ramirez did a damn thing. Okay, that’s not fair, Francisco Lindor hit a great home run to put the Indians down one in the third inning, but boy did it feel like everyone else was sleepwalking today, even with just about everyone adding a hit here and there. But, I mean, you had Rajai Davis with two hits, but he also struck out twice. Mike Napoli had a hit, but he also struck out twice. Everyone — except Ramirez — who did something good, did something bad to counteract it. Just a weird, bad day.

Although he only appeared because of a pinch-hit opportunity, Tyler Naquin looked overmatched at the plate for the second game in a row. He hit for Otero in the seventh inning (thanks again for existing, National League rules, great strategy, thanks) and was struck out with three high fastballs. He did not look much better when he came up in the ninth inning, either. There is a pretty obvious gap in his swing right now, and I hope he gets it figured out soon.

The worst thing about all this is that there was no reason to use Andrew Miller, which is just unfair to everyone.