The Kleveland Keystone Kops gift-wrapped another win on consecutive evenings for the Twins by the score of 3-2.
Before the All-Star break, the Indians were rolling, winning four straight. They were sharp and confident, and feeling good about their prospects for contending and potentially dethroning the Tigers. But while Jason Kipnis was hitting the only run-scoring hit for the American League at CitiField on Tuesday night, and Justin Masterson was relegated to cheerleading duty, the rest of the team rested.
And somebody must have unplugged the clock, because they’re waiting for the alarm to go off.
Basically, tonight’s effort was almost a complete carbon copy of Friday night’s. The Tribe played hot patato again, and it came back to bite them in the collective posterior. And it might have been starter Corey Kluber’s backside that inadvertently started the circus.
Bobbing and weaving through a laborious start (5 INN/3 H/7 SO/2 BB), Kluber still managed to keep the Twins off of the board. Thanks to Kipnis’ two-run homerun (14) off of Twins’ starter, Kevin Correia (6 INN/3 H/2 ER/3 SO/1 BB), Kluber left with the lead probably an inning early than the braintrust wanted, no thanks to a stiff hip.
In comes Rich Hill (2 ER/1 H/1BB), who proceeded to walk Joe Mauer. Justin Morneau followed things up with a knock that sent Mauer to third. All of this is a bad idea when they’re left-handed and Hill is (as of now) the only lefty in the ‘pen. But what happens next often is the kind of thing that coerces people to make ridiculous proclamations about how this or that about the team is the worst thing that we could possibly be subjected to.
Ryan Doumit does the Indians a huge favor by tapping the ball harmlessly towards Chisenhall for the force at home…
(HI! A little tangent if ya don’t mind. Now, in case you’ve been living underneath a boulder the size of LA, Lonnie had been involved in the talks about being the possible centerpiece of the potential deal with the Cubs that would bring Matt Garza here to Cleveland. The Indians reportedly said no, but you just don’t know if that’s just lip-service to avoid any problems in the negotiations. But what we think we know is that Chisenhall isn’t going anywhere. Which is good, because Lonnie has been good for the most part since his lastest recall, and I just don’t think Garza would sign the extension. So, while he appears to be safe was the Indians’ third-baseman, you never know how the rumors play in a young player’s mind. Now, back on track.)
…only Lonnie softball-pitched (???) a changeup to Carlos Santana, and the ball skidded into the Twins dugout, scoring Mauer. Morneau would score on a lazy pop that fell in front of Swisher (shades of Drew Stubbs’ play from Friday) by Twins rookie Chris Colabello for the first RBI of his career. And with the Tribe having a chance to keep the game tied, Doumit would score the eventual game-winner when Kipnis bobbled the ball in attempt to turn the double play.
Feeble attempts were made afterwards to try to square the game up. Cabrera’s lack of hustle cost him a double in the eighth inning, Reynolds is outlasting his roster spot by popping and fouling out on 3-1 pitches, and Stubbs was stranded at second following a leadoff single by Nick Swisher.
Listlessness and the Bullpen Scoff-ia. Your night in five words.
If there is any good news over the past 48 hours, it is that Detroit has also stubbed their toes coming out of the break as well. The flip-side is that with some sense of urgency and attention to detail, the Indians would be in first place right now. So you gotta take the good with the bad.
The Tribe will try to salvage the final game tomorrow as Masterson makes his first start of the unofficial second half against the Twins’ Scott Diamond.
W: Kevin Correia (7-6); L: Rich Hill (1-2); S: Glen Perkins (23)
Player of the Game: Kluber, who deserved a better effort than what his teammates gave him.