I’ve had one of those weeks where I was really burning the candle at both ends. The result of this was the fact that I really had trouble holding my eyes open by 7 p.m. this evening. And it’s not like I played baseball, or traveled a significant difference – I just ended up taking on more than I could handle. I imagine after this week, the Indians are pretty exhausted as well. From the extra inning games and early starter exits, the Tribe really needed rookie T.J. House to go out there and put up zeroes, and eat up a significant amount of innings. He was able to last through six, but unfortunately he made a number of mistakes out over the plate and the Orioles took advantage of that. There are some bats that can really hurt you in that lineup, and Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy in particular, made sure to cause House some pain.
Because the Indians never scored after putting up four in the fourth inning, the five runs that House surrendered were enough to beat the Tribe. But I should still mention that the newly-promoted veteran Mark Lowe committed an error that led to three unearned runs. The Indians have committed 49 errors this season – the most in MLB (the next closest are the Nationals with 42). I guess if you want a way to spice up your viewing habits, you can make bets with friends on which player will make the error that night (because it’s often not “if,” but “when”). The Indians have not had more than two consecutive games without committing an error so far this year. Out of 49 total games thus far, the Indians have had errors in 33 of them (if you don’t want to do the math, that means that they’ve only had 16 games without error this year). So even though the Indians were likely to lose even before Lowe’s error, they can’t keep making these costly mistakes and expect to win games.
I was a little cranky about Jason Giambi’s presence in the lineup tonight, but he came through and hit a three-run home run that briefly gave the Indians the lead. They still managed just seven hits, and had problems with Bud Norris at times. Lonnie Chisenhall continued his red hot streak as he got two hits and an RBI, and Michael Brantley continued his hitting streak as well. The four runs weren’t exactly a terrible offensive performance, but if it wasn’t for the one pitch to Giambi, this could have ended up quite a blowout by the Orioles.
So while I never like to see the Indians lose, after the week they’ve had, this one doesn’t bother me as badly as most losses. Because their starters were tapped out (particularly with Justin Masterson starting on short rest yesterday) they went with a young rookie tonight. It wasn’t the greatest performance, but he did manage to spare a bullpen that’s been extremely overtaxed over the past couple of days. Maybe it’s just me projecting my own exhaustion onto the Indians, but I just felt like the last couple of days may have caught up with them. I honestly expected Wednesday’s game to catch up with them yesterday, but they still managed to hold on to win yesterday.
Now they’ll face their old teammate Ubaldo Jimenez tomorrow afternoon, as the starters get back on normal rest with Corey Kluber taking the mound. After a rocky start to the season, Jimenez had been much better after the beginning of May. However, in his most recent start against the Royals, he gave up 5 ER on 8 hits and only lasted for 5 innings. If nothing else, the Indians need to run up his pitch count and dip into an Orioles bullpen that’s been used a fair amount this week as well.