Indians fall to
73-55 still solidly leading the AL Central
Alright, let's start off with a few key points before delving into this one:
- Thanks to the Angels and the Red Sox, the Indians lost no ground in the AL Central tonight and still maintain a 4.5 lead in the division over the Tigers and a 6.5 game lead over the Royals (if you still somehow buy that the Royals are a threat to the division).
- Andrew Miller is still a bad, bad man. He threw 12 pitches in the 7th inning; only 1 of those were thrown for a ball and three Rangers hitters were struck out.
- Chris Gimenez showed that we actually don't need Andrew Miller because he came in and threw a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the 8th and needed only 10 pitches to do so.
If you tuned into the game in the second inning, you came into a game that was virtually already over thanks to some quirky events in the bottom of the first inning. After Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran had back to back singles, a balk was called on Carrasco to move both runners into scoring position with only one out. I tuned in after this happened, so I didn't actually see the balk, but by the way things were going for the Tribe tonight, I wouldn't be surprised if Carrasco did something like this:
After the balk, Adrian Beltre hit what should have been a routine grounder to Jose Ramirez. Instead of checking the runner on 3B and throwing to 1B for the second out in the inning, Hamster did his best Michael Phelps impression and dove towards 3B in an attempt to tag Desmond out. This did not work. So now, with the bases loaded, Rougned Odor hit what should have been an inning ending double play to Carlos Santana at first; instead of the inning ending, the ball bounced off of Santana and scuttled into RF to plate the first Texas run. Carrasco, not pleased with his defense, proceeded to strike out Carlos Gomez and looked like he would get out of the inning with minimal damage. Mitch Moreland was having none of that. On the first pitch of his AB, Moreland dumped a #PapaSlam into the right field bleachers to clear the bases and the tear ducts of Cleveland fans around the globe.
All in all, Carlos Carrasco only lasted four innings due to an impacted pitch count, but he only gave up 3 runs and struck out 8 Rangers. Had a couple of defensive miscues not happened, this could have been a very different game.
The Tribe offense, on the other hand, couldn't quite figure out A.J. Griffin. They had seven hits on the evening (2 of them triples), but could not sequence hits together in order to push across any runs. Jose Ramirez, in an attempt to reconcile due to his bad night in the field, had three hits on the night. No one else on the team had more than one hit, and four players struck out multiple times. Even if Carrasco had only given up his 3 earned runs, the offense was not getting it done at the plate tonight.
This road trip has been brutal, but keep in mind that the Indians are coming up on the tail end of a stretch of games in which their last off day was August 8. For those keeping score at home, that's 19 games so far in a row with 4 more to go. It's not unreasonable to think that, between almost a month straight of games and a trip to the West Coast, the team is a bit exhausted. A win tomorrow will give the Tribe a 3-4 record on this road trip and 14-13 record in August thus far. This team is primed for a great run in September, but it sure would be nice to extend the Central lead by a few games.