Hot off a perfect game on August 15, I had to wonder if Felix Hernandez may be able to find a way to become the first person with back to back no-hitters (or perfect game-no hitter, in Felix’s case) since Johnny Vander Meer in 1938. King Felix was a dominant pitcher facing a team that’s in a tailspin – the Indians have now lost seven in a row and have only won four games in the month of August. At the start of this one it was the other Hernandez, Roberto, that took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. King Felix was still incredibly dominant, at one point retiring 11 straight between the third inning and the seventh inning. By the time the game reached the bottom of the seventh, the score was tied at one and the only hit Roberto had allowed was a solo home run by Eric Thames. Like so many of Roberto’s starts, once the wheels started to fall off everything devolved into chaos. John Jaso doubled in two and after Manny Acta pulled Roberto at just 72 pitches, Esmil Rogers gave up a three-run shot to Jesus Montero. That was all the Mariners needed to knock off the Indians 5-1. It’s a shame too, because Roberto had really looked pretty solid until the seventh.
Despite the strong performance from King Felix, I still think the Indians had an opportunity to win this game. They outhit the Mariners eight to five, and the Mariners had two costly errors. Even though the Indians have found success with the sacrifice squeeze this season, Brantley was caught in a rundown on the play in the seventh. I really can’t fault them for trying though, because they’ve been so poor with runners in scoring position. You can’t really trust anyone in the lineup to come through in the clutch, unfortunately, so you have to try what you can to get the runs home. Prime example – in the seventh after Brantley was tagged out, Casey Kotchman managed to get into second with two outs. Brent Lillibridge had a chance to knock in the go-ahead run, but instead he struck out. In the eighth they had runners on first and second with nobody out, but Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo couldn’t do anything against King Felix and Lucas Luetge. Those are your big three, the top of your lineup…the guys you want coming up in that situation. Yet they were no more successful at the plate than Lillibridge in the seventh.
Since I started blogging about the Indians in April of 2011, I’ve always kind of liked blogging about the losses. I never like to see the Indians lose, but I’m a cranky fan and somehow breaking apart the game and criticizing the team was oddly cathartic. However, I’ve now reached the point where I really have nothing left to say. How many different ways can I say “well this is garbage, and they lost for the billionth time today?” What is the point of even criticizing this team for its shortcomings anymore, when it’s always the same problems and those problems are so pronounced? When I complain and whine about things, I always try to offer solutions. Okay, things are bad…what can be done to fix them? There are so many things wrong with this team, I’m out of suggestions. You can’t rely on most of your starting pitchers. Even if your offense gets hits, they never seem able to put together a big inning. These problems go beyond mere tinkering, and call for dynamite at this point. I’m starting to wonder how many fans are even watching anymore. All I can think of is this excerpt from Major League. (I know it’s kind of cliche to quote Major League, but this scene is all I can think of. That, and when Harry Doyle starts calling games drunk).
And speaking of drunk, drastic times call for drastic measures. Tomorrow afternoon’s series finale will be live blogged, with a reappearance by my alcohol consuming friends.