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The Indians and an erratic Trevor Bauer couldn't complete the sweep

The Tribe still took 2 out of 3 for the series and padded their lead in the division.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 5, Tigers 9

Box Score

Indians drop to 86-63

7 game lead in AL Central


What is the word that comes to mind when thinking about Trevor Bauer's start today? Unstable. On an afternoon when many Indians fans hoped to catch a glimpse of the Good Bauer needed for a deep playoff run, they instead saw an erratic performance that features three hit batsmen and a wild pitch. In 5.2 innings, Bauer surrendered 10 H, 6 ER, and 2 BB. It didn't help matters that today's game featured a strike zone that shrank, grew, and morphed throughout the course of the contest. To Bauer's credit, he came out on twitter after the game and apologized for the HBPs:

The Action

Brandon Guyer opened the scoring this afternoon on a line-drive to center field. Cameron Maybin sprinted toward the ball, but pulled up in front of it instead of laying out for the catch. It kicked up and off of his glove, and for a moment Maybin got turned around and couldn't locate the ball. By the time he fired it to the infield, Guyer slid safely into second base. The next at bat features some antics as well. Abraham Almonte slapped a single to right to score Guyer but not before accidentally flinging his bat over the third base dugout. Who got to keep the sudden souvenir?

We didn't see who caught the bat, so I'm just going to assume that she reached up and casually snagged it out of the sky.

Things really started to slip for Bauer in the third inning. To begin it, he plunked Ian Kinsler in the head. While unintentional, it clearly shook Bauer up; he dropped his glove and lowered into a crouch as the Tigers staff attended to Kinsler. Fortunately, Kinsler appeared fine and remained in the game, though he was later ejected for arguing. He actually scored the Tigers' first run when Bauer hit Victor Martinez in the leg with the bases loaded. Bauer struck out the next two hitters, but gave up a single to Erick Aybar. The first run scored easily. Then, Tigers third base coach David Clark called for Cabrera to hold at third, but Miggy blew threw it anyway and scored when Gimenez dropped the throw from Almonte. It would have been a close play had he applied the tag, but the Tigers took the lead 3-2.

Daniel Norris opened the bottom of the inning by throwing behind Rajai Davis, prompting the home plate umpire to warn both teams. Fortunately, no other hijinx ensued,

Bauer's strange afternoon grew worse when he allowed a massive 2-run shot to Justin Upton in the fifth inning. Upton tossed his bat to the side and took a moment to admire the homer, then managed to jog around the bases more slowly than most people walk. The dinger put the Tigers up 5-2.

The indians recieved a boost from their outfield in the eighth, as Brandon Guyer and Almonte both made acrobatic catches to steal hits from the Tigers. Unfortunately, it didn't matter very much, as Joe Colon pitched one of the more regrettable relief appearances in recent memory:

Mentally weak.

The Indians didn't threaten in the bottom of the ninth, and whatever remained of the 21,382 that attended today's game shuffled to the exits, some of whom probably mumbled about Unfathomable Genius Paul Hoynes, who foretold of such a fate. May they find an appreciable amount sand that is coarse, moist, and littered with broken glass bottles, making the pounding of it quite unpleasant.

Other Notes

Francisco Lindor is in a bit of a slump at the moment. Here are his numbers since the beginning of the Twins series (9/9), not counting today:

.147 .231 .176 .180 1

I don't expect this to be any sort of long-term issue. His BABIP over this timeframe is .179, and his walk and strikeout rates are more or less the same as the rest of this season. To me, this shows how bad stretches can happen to great players at any time just because of rotten luck. Let's all be happy that we aren't dealing with this sort of slump during a playoff series.

Last Thoughts

I wonder if the little girl who ended up with the bat will end up appreciating how lucky she is to 1) have a Major League bat, and 2) still be alive.