This one stings.
The Indians lost 4-3 in ten innings to the New York Mets on Wednesday night in a game that was absolutely winnable. The offense missed opportunities. Plus, Brad Hand blew another one.
Let’s start with some good stuff. Adam Plutko gave us a quality start. Honestly, what more can you ask from the big righty from UCLA?
Plutko’s stuff never impresses. Literally never. However, he has done a more-than-adequate job as our fifth starter of keeping the Tribe in ballgames.
Wednesday night saw Plutko go six innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out five while allowing just one walk. Oh by the way, this was against a pretty scorching Mets offense.
While Plutko was battling, the Indians offense was well on their way to another off-night. Facing Marcus Stroman, the Mets starter, isn’t an easy task, but the right-hander left after just four innings with hamstring tightness. The Tribe plated one against Stroman, with Francisco Lindor scoring on an RBI groundout from Yasiel Puig in the third.
The Mets bullpen has had a rather rough season, but was excellent in relief of Stroman, allowing just two runs over six innings of work. A Jose Ramirez RBI triple in the sixth and a Carlos Santana solo homer laser shot in the tenth were the only Tribe runs off the New York ‘pen.
The Tribe’s bullpen was solid too (until Hand), with Nick Goody, Oliver Perez, Adam Cimber, and Nick Wittgren combining for three innings of scoreless relief after Plutko’s exit.
Now onto Mr. Hand. After Santana’s homer, Hand came on in the bottom of the tenth to close it out for the good guys. The first batter, Amed Rosario, doubled to right center. After a sacrifice bunt (Tito style), the Tribe decided to intentionally walk Pete Alonso to set up the double play. That set up a lefty-on-lefty matchup with Hand facing Michael Conforto. Conforto hit a grounder right at Santana at first that looked very much like a tailor-made double play ball. However, Hand didn’t get over to cover first and well, no double-play and a tie game. After a Wilson Ramos infield single, J.D. Davis had his best at-bat in the history of his life and on pitch nine ripped a game-winning hit to left field.
Absolutely a tough loss.