There was a point where I really didn’t want to stay up and watch this game anymore. It hits a point where enough is enough, and that point for me was when Michael Bourn threw his arms in the air in the fourth inning as the routine fly ball landed behind him. I love baseball, and I love the Indians – but some nights (heck, weeks) enough is enough. The rain storm that paused the game in the eighth inning put the Indians, and fans, out of their misery for the night. Since the Indians really only score one or two runs a game at this point, you can be pretty certain that they’re not going to overcome a 7-2 deficit.
McAllister had pitched against the Tigers two times this season prior to tonight. He did a good job back in May, but earlier this month it was disastrous (Ryan Raburn made his pitching debut later in the game). I hoped that perhaps he could rediscover his form from May, but it was another bad game for him. In his defense, the Bourn missed fly ball could have helped somewhat; unfortunately that wasn’t responsible for all of the damage. He struggled with command as well, and only lasted into the fourth inning; by that point, he had already walked four.
The main story of the night once again was the offense (or lack thereof). At this point, Indians pitchers pretty much have to pitch a shutout just to give the anemic offense a chance to win a ballgame. I still don’t understand the power that Rick Porcello holds over the Indians. He’s been the Tigers’ weakest starter this year, but coming into tonight there were only two Indians that were hitting over .200 against him this season – Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes. Unfortunately when Gomes came to bat with the bases loaded, Al Alburquerque was in the ballgame. He was struggling with his command and had already walked in a run; Gomes helped him out by swinging at some pitches out of the strike zone. The Indians actually managed to get on base tonight – the only starter to not reach via a hit or walk was Drew Stubbs. Everyone else was on base at least once. The Indians were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 7 on base. So far this road trip, they’re 1 for 25 with runners in scoring position, and have stranded 30 runners on base. In four games, the Indians have scored just 5 runs – they’ve been outscored by their opponent 15-5. What’s sad is that they’re wasting decent pitching (outside of tonight) and could have done better with just a bit of offensive power.
I don’t think this is something that is suddenly going to change with the acquisitions of Jason Kubel and Kelly Shoppach. A lot of the team just looks frustrated and lost right now, and I’m not sure what can be done to repair the damage with just a month remaining in the season. All I’m hoping for during the rest of the Tigers series, is that I at least don’t find myself praying for rain around the fifth inning.
– The Indians were able to snag Shoppach today because he was released from the Indianapolis Indians, the Pirates’ Triple-A club, along with Russ Canzler earlier this week. Russ Canzler has become baseball’s answer to Kevin Bacon – we can all play “Six Degrees of Russ Canzler” now.
– I was kind of surprised that Miguel Cabrera even started tonight, since he appears to be in pain. Even injured he’s still better than most players, but I can’t imagine risking making his issues worse. Sadly, at this point the Tigers could beat the Indians with half of the starters on the bench.
– I was never happier to post this picture tonight: