Many fans might be frustrated by today’s 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins, but they’d be foolish; the Indians’ offense fired on all cylinders to produce a run. It’s an unprecedented level of output for the ballclub and a sure sign that they are capable of narrowly avoiding shutouts moving forward.
Valiant efforts by the offense
The fireworks happened in the top of the fourth inning. Cesar Hernandez doubled. After a Jose Ramirez strikeouts, Francisco Lindor launched a ball to deep left field. It one-hopped the wall and brought Cesar Hernandez home. Lindor churned for two but a perfect throw beat him to the bag. Carlos Santana then drew a walk, but a popout by Mike Freeman ended the threat.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been more excited when watching baseball than I was during that half inning. A run scored on a single-turned-out? More than three hitters coming to the plate? Outstanding. With this kind of production moving forward the Tribe look certain to avoid setting the all-time record for fewest runs scored, an accomplishment that seemed improbable just twelve hours ago.
Did the Indians go “one-two-three” in six of the nine innings? Did two of the three remaining innings feature only one baserunner courtesy of an error and a walk? Yes, and soon the Tribe may end up moving runners to second before stranding them. That would be a tremendous sign of progress and one for which it is worth the rooting, people.
Yet another loss by the pitching staff
Aaron Civale let his team down today by failing to convert comparatively stellar run support into a win. He pitched six innings of three-run baseball - something that the nerds would have you call a “quality start”, a pointless statistic when the Pitcher Win already exists. What’s quality about a loss, especially one in which the offense immolates opposing pitching like they did today? Nothing. There is no quality here. Quality is the loss a pitcher causes to a team after being pitched.
Some quants might stroke their neckbeards and exclaim, “He struck out nine hitters! He didn’t walk anyone! The umpires turned a foul ball into a double on the first at-bat of the game and that run shouldn’t have even happened!” Maybe if they spent more time watching baseball instead of staring at spreadsheets and writing for blogs they’d understand how badly Civale failed his offense today. It might not be out of line for the Indians to immediately DFA him unless he accepts full responsibility for today’s failure.
Nick Wittgren and James Karinchak each held the Twins scoreless in an inning of relief, but they failed to generate any runs for the Indians on the mound. Will Francona be able to stomach such an offensively-inept bullpen moving forward? Clearly, it is the pitching woes of this team that caused the intestinal distress that forced him to miss today’s game.
Toad the Wet Tidbit
- The Indians are now a .500 ballclub on the season at 5-5. They’ve scored 25 runs to date, with nine of those coming in one game against the White Sox.
- Coming into today’s game the team’s batting average sat at .206 with a BABIP of .259. It is likely that both of those numbers will drop further.
- While James Karinchak surrendered two hits today, he also struck out the side. It is my hope that we continue to see more of his ranting, glove-biting appearances moving forward.
The Indians take on the Reds tomorrow night with a shot to extend their scoring streak to two games on the line. Let’s hope they get some better effort from their pitching staff.