This one really made me want to bang my head off of a wall. There are so many things to critique, where to begin…
I guess I’ll start with the fact that the Indians only scored one run, despite the fact that they had a base runner in every inning. They were 0-12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men stranded on base, which is pretty pathetic if you ask me. Particularly when they’re facing Freddy Garcia; his stuff didn’t seem necessarily spectacular and he had a 7.50 ERA against the Indians dating back to 2005 (prior to today, obviously). The only Indians without a hit today were Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana and Jack Hannahan; so they obviously had no problem getting hits off Garcia. Unfortunately, the hits stayed in the park and the Indians were never able to string any together to make a big inning.
As usual with recent blowout games (which anymore, 3-0 qualifies as a blowout), Manny Acta went to Frank Herrmann and Chad Durbin after Josh Tomlin (Tony Sipp got some work as well). Herrmann had a decent outing, but Durbin was terrible yet again. Not that it mattered; the Indians weren’t going to score enough runs anyway. It’s still starting to get embarrassing to watch Durbin surrender his standard 3+ runs late in a blowout. You knew what you were getting when you signed him prior to the season, as his career ERA is 5.11. Still, his 7.39 mark this season is pretty painful. There were several teams competing for his services this spring; you have to think they’re counting their lucky stars right now that he went to the Indians.
If Josh Tomlin had better defense behind him in the fifth inning, this game may not have gotten out of hand so quickly. Shin-Soo Choo, who is already struggling at the plate, misplayed Brett Gardner’s fly ball. Austin Kearns badly misjudged Alex Rodriguez’s fly ball; it was reminiscent of the time he misjudged the fly ball during the game I attended in Anaheim in early May.
The one bright spot of the day: Orlando Cabrera reached the 2,000 hit mark in the second inning (even though the ball he hit looked more like an error by Derek Jeter, than an actual single). I’ll take what I can get at this point – congrats to O Cab.
I’m not sure where the Indians go from here. Fortunately, the Tigers lost today as well so they maintain their tie for first place. They’ve looked so bad at the plate though, I’m starting to feel they’ll never be good again (I know that’s not true, but this is extremely discouraging). Acta spoke after today’s game about how they need to “tinker” with the lineup to get more success; I’m not sure a complete detonation of the lineup will help much at this point. There need to be some changes with the actual lineup’s participants before there will be any benefits. Otherwise, it’s going to be a very, very long, depressing series with Detroit.