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Cleveland Indians buried by 7th inning mistakes, drop series opener to Astros, 6-2

For all the complaining about the Indians never getting a primetime game on Sunday or Monday night, I'm kind of glad the rest of the country didn't get to watch this one.

Indians 2, Astros 6

Box Score

Indians fall to 79-57


Good evening. Welcome to the post-game recap. It's a bit of a shame that you couldn't watch the game like you wanted, but we all understand that your life takes precedence, and no one will think less of you for having missed it.

In fact, I think that most of us are envious. It turns out that today was a bullpen day.

For a short while, the game appeared to be within reach. The Indians gave up three runs early, but battled back to within one after Mike Napoli hit his 30th home run of the season. Yes, we're all sorry that you missed the 30th #PartyAtNapolis. The thing is, my friend, we did not get to celebrate for very long. No. The joy of the party left the room the way that light evaporates into the night when the switch is flicked.

You're familiar with our friend, Bryan?

Silence, Mr. Cranston. As discussed you will speak only when addressed. We shall not caution you a second time.

No, we speak, of course, of Bryan Shaw. You're familiar, I'm sure, with many of the hot takes regarding his performance this season. The scoreless streaks, the implosions, the near-disasters. Yes, we all agree he is quite the character, and he's certainly made the season more interesting. Now I know what you're thinking: No. Dear god, no, we took a lead going into the seventh inning, and then Bryan Shaw threw sixteen curveballs that didn't break over the plate to the heart of the Astro's order.

We enjoy your assumption, but tonight the Tribe's downfall was a bit more nuanced.

To start with, Shaw inherited a runner from Dan Otero. After entering, he immediately allowed a single, then a walk, then a sacrifice fly. Rajai Davis charged hard on the weak fly ball, but with George Springer tagging his throw needed to be perfect. It nearly was, and for a moment we screamed for a replay review. Then, we saw the gap between glove and sliding Astro with our own eyes, and relented.

In most self-imagined baseball disasters, this is when Shaw allows a grand slam. We think this might have been a better way for the game to unravel. Short. Brief. In a way, painless, like being hit by the Tsar Bomba.

Instead, we enjoyed the sight of our favorite baseball team accidentally disemboweling itself. Shaw could not keep his eyes on the baserunners and allowed second and third to be stolen without a throw. Evan Gattis then slapped a ball toward Jason Kipnis, who nearly made a neat play. Nearly. He spun and threw, but the throw took Napoli off of the bag. Another run scored.

We bit our tongues and hoped to escape the inning on the next play. Colby Rasmus grounded into the shift. Lindor charged, and his throw came in a bit low, and Napoli could not hang on to the ball. It would have been close, but we think that a better throw from Lindor would have beaten Rasmus to the bag and ended the inning. Instead, another run scored. What had been a one-run deficit stretched to four in a depressing sequence of mistakes. It is regrettable that only one member of the roster avoids this human tendency toward error.

We're quite aware of the fact that this cannot be changed, but perhaps a day of using nothing but the bullpen is not the most productive decision. In fact, it appears that Tito Francona thought that expanded rosters meant that he had to use more that 25 players, not that he could simply carry them on the roster. Look at all of the pitchers. Look at what they've done.

M Clevinger 1.2 2 1 1 2 3 0 43-22 5.30
J Manship 0.2 2 2 2 1 1 1 19-10 3.68
P Garner 2.2 1 0 0 0 2 0 32-22 2.70
J Colon 0.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 18-10 2.08
D Otero 0.2 1 1 1 0 2 0 14-10 1.37
B Shaw 0.1 2 2 0 1 0 0 18-10 3.32
C Anderson 1.1 1 0 0 2 4 0 35-22 6.97
J Tomlin 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 13-8 4.85

We anticipate a better performance tomorrow.

* * *

On a serious note: a game will get away from every team on occasion. Hopefully, the Tribe can regain focus with Kluber on the mound tomorrow.