I was talking with a friend last night and they said that they’ve never been able to get into baseball because there are so many games and each individual game is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. You may or may not subscribe to that school of thought, but it does help on days like today when the Cleveland Indians got absolutely demolished by the Seattle Mariners by a score of 12-4.
Matt Underwood said early in the broadcast that he had a feeling that it was going to be “one of those game”, and he was right. Things were virtually over before the Tribe came to bat in the first when Carlos Carrasco struggled in the top half of the inning. He wasn’t throwing first pitch strikes, his fastball velocity was way down, and a good majority of his pitches were finding their way over the heart of the plate. Two such pitches, both 94mph fastballs, were deposited into the center field seats courtesy of Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz.
It was clear that Carrasco was not having the same success that he’s had in virtually every other start this season, but he turned things around by striking out the side in the second inning. A 3-0 deficit with seven innings to play is definitely doable, especially with Mike Leake on the mound and a Cleveland offense that is supposed to be good. Unfortunately, two more runs would cross the plate in the third inning for Seattle (thanks in part to a throwing error by Roberto Perez), making it 5-0.
Carlos Carrasco only made it through three innings, easily his worst start of the season. The silver lining, if you can call it that, is that his season ERA ballooned to 3.08, which is still incredible. There’s no indication that his poor performance today was due to an injury, so hopefully it stays that way and it gets chalked up to a random bad start during a random 162-game season.
Zach McAllister looked at Cookie’s final line (3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K) and thought “I can get these same results but in a third of the time!”. McAllister has one pitch he can sometimes rely on (his fastball) and one pitch that he can rarely rely on (his curveball). On days when the stars align and both of his pitches are working, he can give off the illusion of a reliable bullpen arm. Unfortunately, that happens almost never. The more likely scenario is what we saw today: a relief pitcher who refused to throw his secondary pitch (6/28 total pitches) and had a primary pitch that clearly was not working. Of the 6 curveballs McAllister did throw, one was hit for a 2-run single and one was hit for an RBI double. Kyle Seager hit a 2-run home run off of a fastball just to further drive home the point that Zach McAllister has zero reliable pitches.
When your best pitchers on the day are Jeff Beliveau and Matt Belisle, you probably had a bad day. Kudos to them, however, for going 4.0 innings and allowing just 1 hit combined.
Offense, oh right. Outside of Yonder Alonso and Michael Brantley, the entire team looked lost at the plate, confounded by the incredible Mike Leake. Without Alonso’s 3 RBIs, Leake gives up just 1 run due to a goofy infield hit by Tyler Naquin. Aside from his first start of the year against...you guessed it, the Cleveland Indians...Leake has been horrendous. Today, he scattered 6 hits (2 from Alonso, 2 from Brantley) and allowed 4 runs through 6.0 innings. By all accounts not a great start, but when you leave the game with a 10-4 lead, you feel pretty confident that you did enough to get your team a win.
As I’m typing this, Ryon Healy just hit his first home run of the year to make it 12-4. Joy.
- Roberto Perez had 2 errors today, bringing his season total up to 4. So that’s nice. And by nice I mean horrendous since Perez is mainly a defense-first catcher who seems to be making more and more defensive miscues as of late.
- Yonder’s home run today was his third straight game with a dinger. This is the first time that this phenomenon has happened for Alonso, so that’s neat.
- Damn is Jason Kipnis unlucky. His exit velocities today were as follows: 88.7 mph, 103.6 mph, 94.0 mph, and 91.5 mph. Not one hit. After he flew out to left field in the third inning, the camera cut to a visibly frustrated Kipnis in the dugout. He’s making solid contact but nothing is falling for him. The BABIP will eventually rise as his luck evens out, but as tough as it is to watch right now, I imagine it’s even worse for Kip himself.
I like watching baseball, and I don’t agree that each individual game is insignificant. I don’t think each game is incredibly important, either. They’re smaller pieces of a larger puzzle. Today’s piece was the one you dropped off the table and your dog chewed on it for a half hour before you realized it was gone. It will still be a part of the big picture when all is said and done, but damn if it doesn’t look like utter shit right now. Tomorrow will be better, right?
Probable starter: Josh Tomlin (RHP)