Yes, the Indians lost today. The Twins beat them 5-3.
Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco was outpitched by Pedro Hernandez, who was called up from the Twins’ AAA affiliate in Rochester when scheduled starter Mike Pelfrey’s back problems landed him on the disabled list. The Rochester club had been playing in Louisville when Hernandez got the call, so he drove to Cleveland, getting to town at 4 AM. I don’t know if he was aided by caffeine or a dose or two of the 5-hour energy drinks you see on display next to the cash register of every service station in the land, but Hernandez did a decent job, allowing two runs in five innings. He pitched himself into a jam in the second, walking the first three batters to load the bases with no outs. This was the Indians’ chance to do some serious damage, but all they could do was score one run on a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly. Hernandez walked six batters in five innings, which isn’t the kind of performance that usually gets you a W after your name in the box score, but the Indians stranded four runners in scoring position over the first three innings.
Carrasco, who had looked sharp in his previous start, was ineffective today, giving up three runs, all earned, over four and two-thirds innings. He threw 104 pitches, which is an awful lot of pitches to throw to record only 14 outs.
It simply wasn’t a good game for the Indians. So yeah, I’m a little bit grumpy, but I’m trying to look at the bigger picture. I’m trying to embrace what I like to call the Meat Loaf philosophy: two out of three ain’t bad. And taking two out of three is what the Indians have been doing over the last twelve games: two out of three against the Rangers in Texas, followed by a nine-game homestand in which they won six games by taking two out of three against the Washington Nationals, the Kansas City Royals, and the Minnesota Twins.
It goes without saying that if a baseball team can take two games out of three on a consistent basis, they’ll be in good shape come October. The Indians play their next eleven games on the road: four against the Baltimore Orioles, four against the Chicago White Sox, and three against the Royals. Of course, you can’t really apply the Meat Loaf philosophy to a four-game series, unless you want to round it up to three out of four ain’t bad. But that’s kind of hard to do, so let’s just say that if the Indians can go 7-4 or better on this road trip,taking two out of the three series, I’ll be pleased.
- Leadoff hitter Michael Bourn went 3 for 5 today. All three of his hits were infield singles. It’s nice to have someone with a decent bat and some speed at the top of the batting order.
- In his first game back after missing six games due to a sore shoulder, Nick Swisher went 0 for 5 in the cleanup slot. Swish is batting (and slugging) .125 for the month of June: six hits, all singles, in 48 at-bats. That’s the kind of performance we were getting last year from the likes of Johnny Damon, Vinny Rottino, and Brent Lillibridge. I hope he can turn things around, and soon.
- Rich Hill allowed one run in one inning of relief. His ERA now stands at 7.58. For the month of May, his ERA was 8.44, and for June, it’s 10.13. I suspect he’s already got a suitcase packed for when he gets the call telling him to take what Stephanie calls the Colum-Bus to join the Clippers for a couple of weeks.
- Today’s attendance was a pitiful 17,143 (no, I didn’t attend the game either, but in my defense, I was there last Wednesday when the Tribe beat the Royals). Perhaps the 88 degree heat kept some fans away. Let’s hope more people turn out when the team comes back from the road trip.