Well, that was guillotine fast. Just when we thought it was safe to be an Indians fan . . .
After playing inspired baseball in a sweep of Detroit early in the week, including a nice win over Justin Verlander, the deep flaws of this Indians team reared ugly in a lost weekend in Chicago (9-3; 14-7; 12-6).
Poor starting pitching, poor bullpen pitching and poor situational hitting resulted in:
Momentum from Tigers series. Gone.
3.5 game lead in the Central Division. Gone.
3 games picked up on Tigers. Gone.
Good vibe from Perez fan rant. Gone.
On Friday the Indians made a 23 year old AA pitcher (1-3 at Birmingham) into their personal Sandy Koufax (11.2 innings v. Cleveland this season, 1.54 ERA).
On Saturday the Indians watched the White Sox pound 14 runs on 17 hits.
On Sunday the Indians dug deep and held the White Sox to 12 runs on 15 hits.
— Tribe starters lasted but 12 IP in 3 games and yielded 23 hits and 21 runs for an ERA of 15.75
— The bullpen wasn’t much better, with an ERA of 10.02 and 20 hits in 11.2 IP.
— Ubaldo Jimenez continued his maddening display, throwing 99 pitches in 4+ innings and giving up 7 runs, including a 3-run home run to Konerko to break a 4-4 tie in the 5th. Jimenez leads the AL in BB (6.75/9IP) and WP (7) and this was the 3rd start he failed to get past the 4th inning. His short starts seriously undermine the bullpen.
— At least that’s what Jairo Asencio channeled. After Jimenez gave up a leadoff hit in the 5th, Asencio (5.96 ERA) entered and went 2B, 3B, 3B, 2B to allow 3 runs and a blowout, 10-4. Two of the outs Asencio recorded occurred when a base runner overran third and another tried to stretch a triple and was thrown out at home. A bad case of the wrong gas.
— Tony Sipp (6.62) also struggled, loading the bases in the 8th and forcing Joe Smith to be used again. Smith promptly gave up a 2 run single to seal the loss.
— With their 3-4-5 hitters on the shelf, the Tribe started Jose Lopez in the cleanup spot (0 for last 12 before an RBI double) and Casey (Mudville) Kotchman at No. 5. Not good.
— Johnny Damon hit his first HR as an Indian, a 3-run line drive which briefly tied the game at 4-4 before Ubaldo proved once more he is Ubaldo.
— Rookie SS Juan Diaz picked up his first 2 major league hits.
Let’s do what they do in a barnyard and shovel some dirt on it and move on. As someone once said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”