As frustrated as I am about the outcome of this game, the Indians probably wouldn’t have been in a position to win without several Twins miscues. The offense, yet again, missed a number of prime opportunities to put a big number on the board – they got a boost from the Ben Revere error in the outfield in the 4th, and the passed ball by Drew Butera in the 6th. Even though there were no Indians players officially charged with errors, you have to think that some of those Twins runs wouldn’t have scored in the 8th inning if someone else was playing left field.
You can’t even really blame Luis Valbuena for the issues in left. It’s not his regular position and he probably didn’t feel very comfortable out there. This is the second game in a row where his defensive presence likely cost the Tribe the game. All one can hope is that either Michael Brantley has recovered from his stomach ailment by the weekend, or that the Indians find an alternative solution for the outfield. Like the Baltimore series, this is a series that the Indians feasibly could have swept. (If Orlando Cabrera’s arm was about 3 inches longer he could’ve nabbed Danny Valencia’s single – that could’ve helped stop the bleeding in the 8th as well.)
Josh Tomlin didn’t seem to have his best stuff again today (it sounded like he left some pitches out over the plate, and was getting squeezed by the umpire). Despite this fact, he yet again gave the Indians a chance to win and stayed in the game for 6 innings – his 5+ innings pitched streak is up to 30 starts. He’s pitched 5+ in every Major League start of his career.
Few random stats, facts and links:
– Despite the number of runners the Indians strand in scoring position (which today, they were 0-9 with RISP), entering today’s game they were hitting .417 as a team with the bases loaded.
– On the Indians radio broadcast today, they were discussing Chris Perez and Danny Valencia’s friendship. Despite Valencia hitting go-ahead single off of Perez yesterday, Perez still crashed at Valencia’s apartment after the game.
– It was over 100 with the heat index in Minnesota for much of today’s game; it must have been miserable for both fans and players. The other night, Fausto Carmona changed his undershirt every inning, and his jersey several times during the game due to the heat and the amount he was sweating.
– Entering today, the Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates were both in first place. This was the first time since 1921 that both teams have been in first place at the same time. Neither team won the pennant in 1921, but the Indians were fresh off their 1920 World Series win.
– I wanted to share a few good articles with you. First Chris Jaffe has a couple of great articles on Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven at The Hardball Times, in honor of their upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame: Robert Alomar Career Highlights and 10 Things I Didn’t Know About Bert Blyleven. Joe Guzzardi also has a great article that may be of interest to Indians fans at Baseball Past and Present: 1954 All Star Game: Al Rosen Plays With Broken Finger, Slams Key Homer.