Over the past month or two, the Indians have been all about missed opportunities. As a counterbalance, they’ve also had numerous come from behind wins and walk-offs. While last night’s game against the Angels represented the best the Indians have to offer – a dramatic come from behind, walk-off – tonight’s 9th inning represented the worst the team has to offer.
I don’t think I’ve become spoiled by games like Monday night’s affair; I don’t necessarily expect the Indians to pull a win out of every game they trail in the 9th. However, it is completely inexcusable to have the bases loaded with nobody out, yet fail to score even the tying run. Jordan Walden was on the ropes in the 9th, but Matt LaPorta and (to a slightly lesser extent) Jason Kipnis let him off the hook. LaPorta looked so very bad when he ran the count 0-2; I was actually surprised when he worked it back to 3-2. A strikeout would’ve been better than the actual outcome in that case. By the time Kipnis struck out, the wind had pretty much already been let out of the sails.
Josh Tomlin and Jered Weaver were pretty much as advertised. In fact, I think you could argue that Tomlin was a bit better (or the Angels offense a bit worse) as Anaheim didn’t even have a runner reach second until the fifth inning. The Indians stranded 7 runners and were 0-7 with runners in scoring position, while the Angels stranded 3 runners and were 1-4 with RISP. Tomlin takes his streak of 5+ inning starts to 31 as he lasted 8 innings tonight.
The idea to intentionally walk Howie Kendrick was a little bit baffling, but it did seem like you’d rather face Mark Trumbo than Kendrick. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20.
A few other items of interest:
- Justin Germano (in the Indians bullpen earlier this season) pitched a perfect game tonight for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers against the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals). It was the first time in team history the Chiefs were victims of a perfect game. Germano struck out 7 and threw just 85 pitches over 9 innings.
- Alex White threw a simulated inning on Monday. The Indians claim that if he does return this season, he will be relegated to the bullpen.
- Trade rumors continue to fly around the Indians. According to Peter Gammons, the Indians offered to give the Mets a good prospect for Carlos Beltran, as well as pick up all of his remaining salary. Gammons said that because of Beltran’s no-trade clause, the slugger has some say in his final destination. The lack of a deal between the Indians and Mets probably means that Beltran was not interested in waving his clause to come to Cleveland. On Twitter, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated said that Beltran was never approached about the Indians, leading Heyman to believe that the Mets were already aware of the fact that he’d veto the deal.
- Heyman also listed Cleveland as one of the 7 teams interested in Ubaldo Jimenez. The others: Reds, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays.
- Dennis Manoloff has a good piece at the Plain Dealer about the Indians’ deadline moves each year from 1994 to the present.
- The non-waiver trade deadline is Sunday, so some of this will likely start to take shape over the next few days.