How bad was this game for the Indians? Obviously, bad enough for me to fall back on a Vanilla Ice reference. It’s as if they were steamrolled, and the train that hit them had DAVID PRICE painted on the side in giant letters. Josh Tomlin had his first really bad inning of the year, not that it mattered. If the Indians score exactly zero runs, it really doesn’t matter if Tomlin allows four or forty. Price gives the Indians fits – he was the same pitcher that ended their 14-game home winning streak a couple of weeks ago. He struck out 12 and allowed just four hits; in fact the Indians didn’t even get two people on base at the same time until the bottom of the sixth inning.
The only positive news for the Indians tonight was the return of Grady Sizemore from the disabled list; he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. I don’t expect much from Sizemore in the series with the Rays; he did not have a minor league rehab assignment prior to his return so he may need a few days to find his timing against live pitching. Regardless, it’s good to see players returning from the DL for once, rather than heading to the DL.
Manny Acta tried a new lineup tonight, which didn’t seem like a bad idea to me at the start of the game. The Indians struggled to score runs this week, even during their victory over the Red Sox on Monday night – it couldn’t hurt to shake things up a bit. Perhaps it will work better against a pitcher that is not David Price (although James Shields on Saturday night may not be any easier to conquer). As much as I love Carlos Santana, it was time to move him out of the cleanup spot until he comes out of his slump. Batting 7th, he managed to get one of the Indians’ four hits and a walk – hopefully he can build upon that during the rest of the series.
This was the first time all season that Tomlin allowed four runs in a game. This comes on the heels of Thursday’s game against the Red Sox, where Indians pitching gave up their first 3-run home run of the season. (It still seems amazing that they made it to the end of May without giving up a 3-run home run or a grand slam.) Chad Durbin gave up the fifth run in the bottom of the seventh; I feel like his motto should be “Chad Durbin: when you’ve already given up on today’s game.” I know that I don’t necessarily trust him in a key situation, and it seems like Acta doesn’t trust him either. Durbin has pitched better of late, but I feel like I’ve already established a negative opinion of him and it’s too late to change my perception now.
The Rally Cows and I will be at Tropicana Field tomorrow night to watch Carlos Carrasco take on James Shields. I haven’t seen a win in person since last Sunday (which is starting to feel like a lifetime at this point), so I hope they turn it around and pull out a W against a very tough Shields.