Tonight, we lost to an arch-rival’s ace, who we usually smash handily. Adding insult to injury, we also lost our ace to potential injury after an atrocious three inning performance. It was not a good night, and I don’t relish the thought of reliving it via traditional recap. So I won’t. Tonight, I present to you a more refined coping mechanism - a poetic healing tool.
Tigers 5, Indians 2 as told by five haikus
Have you ever thought:
“What if the Klubot just died?”
Would you just die too?
Corey Kluber didn’t exactly die tonight, but what actually unfolded was still pretty hard to watch. It was clear from the get-go that he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He had no bite on the cutter, wasn’t able to locate, and struggled even against the ass end of the Detroit lineup. He gave up a run each in the first two innings, but the big blow was a Miguel Cabrera two-run homer in the 3rd.
That alone wasn’t too out of line with the slightly disappointing performance we’ve got from Kluber in 2017. When Kluber didn’t come out for the 4th inning, due to what we’d later find out was “lower back discomfort,” the thoughts began to race. Was that why he was so bad tonight? Worse, could it be a lingering issue that has caused his struggles all season? We’ll have to wait to find out more but after missing Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar for big chunks of 2016, losing Kluber for a big chunk of 2017 would be a bitter pill.
“Sign stealers!” Brad whined
But wouldn’t that yield more runs?
There’s still a Cy Young
Justin Verlander has been the Tribe’s favourite whipping boy for what seems like years at this point. But maybe that can just be chalked up to “random variance,” in the astute words of Trevor Bauer. Verlander is still a bona fide ace, and you knew one of these times he was bound to shut down even this potent Tribe lineup. I just wish I hadn’t tempted fate so badly in my game thread preamble.
He loves meatballs of all kinds
No meatballs inside
When the Tigers were last in town, Miguel Cabrera made a big fuss about Trevor Bauer throwing “at” him. What resulted was a warning to both benches, and Miguel stomping Bauer in subsequent at bats because Bauer was afraid to pitch inside. There appear to be some lingering effects of Miguel’s whining. Kluber pitched him timidly, barely coming inside, and the result was a two run bomb that ended up being the deciding factor in the game.
BABIP’s a killer
But can’t explain all the suck
Any other thoughts?
Edwin Encarnacion rocketed a couple of balls tonight, barely missing a homer in one at bat. As has been the case in many games, the process seems solid, but the results still aren’t coming for him. Other Indians were similarly ineffective. Despite Verlander’s generally solid game, the Indians had opportunities to score. They loaded the bases in the first inning, but only managed one damn run on a wild pitch. Verlander issued four walks in total, but Indians hitters only managed four hits off of him, none with runners in scoring position. Even the mighty Francisco Lindor had a pathetic game, going 0-fer and popping up weakly to end the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd against a shaky K-Rod. Seems like this team either scores in bunches or not at all, and you start to wonder when that’s going to become a real concern.
Starters got us scared
Tito, who you gonna call?
The league’s best bullpen
When your ace only goes three innings and the game is effectively over, a lot of managers might run up the white flag. In 2017, Terry Francona has never had to do that. The combination of Shawn Armstrong, Nick Goody, and Boone Logan shut Detroit down over five scoreless innings. As has been a running theme, they kept the Tribe in the game - it’s just too bad the offense could never capitalize.
The last word
I don’t know what else to say. It sucked. So, here’s a bonus haiku:
14 and 4? Nope
Gonna be a war this year
Why won’t Detroit die?