The Indians lost again to the Minnesota Twins today.
The Twins aren’t a very good baseball team, to put it mildly. With 62 wins and 87 losses, their winning percentage of .416 is the second-worst in the American League. The team with the worst winning percentage, .409, is your—okay, our—Cleveland Indians. Tonight’s loss dropped the Tribe to 61 and 88, giving them sole possession of fifth and last place in the AL Central for the first time since Opening Day.
Zach McAllister started the game for the Indians. The last time he pitched, he went six solid innings against the Texas Rangers, the best team in the league, and he didn’t walk a batter. Tonight he went 4⅓ innings, allowing four runs, all of them earned. McAllister threw 77 pitches over the first four innings, which is quite a lot. After walking Joe Mauer with one out in the fifth, McAllister faced Josh Willingham, who got every bit of a 3-2 pitch for his 35th home run of the season, giving the Twins a 4-2 lead and sending McAllister to the showers.
Willingham, who went 4 for 5 with 4 RBI tonight, played for the Oakland A’s last season, and reportedly considered an offer from the Indians during the offseason before signing with the Twins. With an OPS+ of 144, he is having the best season of his career. Had the Indians been able to sign him, Indians fans would have been spared a summer of watching such notables as Shelley Duncan, Johnny Damon, and Aaron Cunningham hack away at the plate. Ifs and buts, candy and nuts, etc.
Travis Hafner started at DH for the Indians, going 0 for 3 at the plate. He was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance. As Hafner had been out since August 6 with back inflammation, I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan watching the game on TV who saw that and thought oh, great, here he goes again, it’s back to the disabled list for Pronk! But he seems to be OK for now. He’s expected to play three times a week.
The Indians and Twins conclude their series with a noon game tomorrow. An Indians victory will elevate the Tribe to a tie for fourth and last place in the division. A loss will give them a 6-12 record against the Twins for 2012. It will also give me a strong case of the sads.