The Indians have been on a fantastic run lately. I’m not sure what happens to them when they leave the friendly confines of Progressive Field, but it seems like whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Tonight, pretty much all aspects of the team gave a poor performance – pitching, offense, and once again, there were defensive issues. You have to tip your cap to rookie Jose Fernandez, who put in a terrific performance. He was a big reason that the Indians were only able to scratch together three hits during the entire game. I can actually relate to the Indians tonight – it seems like I’ve had a week where absolutely nothing went right. As an example, tonight I decided to take a bike ride and listen to the first couple of innings on the radio. It ended with me getting stranded in a storm, missing large chunks of the game. I guess if you want to miss large portions of a game, this was probably the one to avoid.
Right of the bat, things went awry for the Indians. Asdrubal Cabrera could have helped Ubaldo Jimenez get out of a sticky spot in the first inning, but he bobbled a double play ball and didn’t get any outs. Jimenez started to fall apart, and labored to even make it out of the first inning. He continued to struggle with command and throw a great deal of pitches. Only two of the five runs surrendered while Jimenez was on the mound were earned; the other five runs were charged to Matt Albers. (Although it’s not like Jimenez gave a great performance, just had a bit of help falling apart.) Albers really seems to be a feast or famine kind of a pitcher – in June he pitched 9 innings out of the bullpen and had a 0.00 ERA. In July, he threw 11 innings out of the bullpen and had a 4.09 ERA. Usually he seems to thrive in mop-up situations, while struggling in higher-pressure situations; he wasn’t even able to survive mop-up duty tonight though. The good news is that Mark Rzepczynski (sigh, I already had to look it up…that’s one so far) had a decent outing in his Tribe debut, pitching one perfect inning.
To be fair, if the Indians score zero runs and only get three hits, it really doesn’t matter if the pitching staff gives up 10 runs or 1. Obviously, it’s much more painful to watch them struggle, but if the offense is unable to put anything together against Fernandez, they’re not going to win the ballgame anyway. You hate to lose to a team like Miami, that is very young and was 28 games below .500 at one point. (They’re *only* 22 below after tonight’s victory). The Marlins did manage to take two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates recently, and they have one of the best records in baseball. So even though they’re having a rough year, they do manage to have some good performances from time to time.
Even though this was a pretty ugly game, it still counts as only one loss. They’ll wake up tomorrow and look to start another winning streak. I’ll wake up tomorrow and go drink wine at Vintage Ohio, and hopefully put this terrible week behind me. That’s the beauty of baseball and life – you have a tough day/week, you get to start fresh again tomorrow.