Even though Asdrubal Cabrera did not drive in both of the Indians’ runs tonight, he was responsible for both of the Indians’ hits and the only earned run charged to Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. The Indians managed to score their second run simply by virtue of two Boston errors and an Ezequiel Carrera sacrifice fly. As dead as the offense looked tonight, I guess I have to give them credit for managing to scrape by two runs on just two Cabrera hits. While my reflex reaction is to pick on the offense (often this season, the appropriate response) I feel the need to tip my cap to Buchholz. He’s had some rough moments this season, but his last few outings have been solid; tonight he was superb.
In the ninth inning, I really hoped that the Indians would find a way to get lucky and at least tie the game. Carrera led of the inning, and outside of the sacrifice fly, looked terrible with three strikeouts. However, he battled against Buchholz in the ninth and I really hoped that perhaps Buchholz was tiring, or that maybe Carrera would find a way to get on base. When he watched strike three cruise down the middle, I groaned. “How could he let that perfect pitch just slide right by?” On the replay though, I could see that it was actually a pretty deceptive pitch that managed to sneak across the inside corner of the plate. Carrera was baffled, as much of the Indians’ lineup was throughout the game.
For much of the game, Chris Seddon kept pace with Buchholz. In six innings pitched, he allowed two earned runs on five hits; a solid performance that would be enough for a win most nights. I liked what I saw of Seddon this spring in Arizona, and he’s put up good numbers in Columbus this year. I didn’t expect much from him when he was called to Cleveland, but I thought he looked sharp tonight. Speaking of pleasant surprises, Cody Allen pitched an inning and a third out of the bullpen and once again did not allow a hit. In 10.1 innings pitched since his debut on July 20, he’s allowed zero earned runs and just six hits, striking out nine and walking seven. What’s even more amazing to me is that he was just drafted last year in the 23rd round. He’s had an extremely quick rise through the Indians’ system – he spent time at Class-A Carolina, Double-A Akron, and Triple-A Columbus before arriving in Cleveland less than a month ago. Esmil Rogers pitched a perfect inning and two thirds, striking out two.
Even though the Indians have done more than enough losing lately, this is one of those losses that seem easier to swallow. The Tribe’s pitching was solid, but Buchholz was impressive tonight. Some nights, you just get beat and you move on and try to bounce back the next night. As a fan, I just have to pray that this isn’t the start of another massive losing streak!