First, the positives:
-The Indians did win this series against the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles. That’s good.
-Indians starters allowed 3 runs in this series. That’s great.
That’s about all the positives we can draw from this game. I’m not trying to be overly pessimistic – I honestly feel better about this team than I have in quite some time. This particular game, however, was an unwelcome return to the decidedly un-fun version of the Tribe that we have simply seen too much of this season.
–Danny Salazar. He wasn’t HORRIBLE, but he was inefficient (91 pitches in 5.0-plus innings) and he absolutely ran out of steam in the sixth inning. He didn’t allow any home runs, which was nice, but he allowed three doubles in those five innings. I really really am starting to wonder if Salazar has a future in the bullpen.
-The offense was stymied by Kevin Gausman (who?) and the Orioles bullpen to the tune of 2 hits. Even with yesterday’s six run outburst, the Indians scored 10 runs on this five game home stand. Yuck.
-Chisenhall is still having an above average season, but that is entirely because of the ridiculous start he got out to early this season. He’s been an automatic out for much of the summer, and his defense leaves everything to be desired. Lonnie Baseball Fever is all but forgotten.
-I love Zach Walters… but he strikes out a lot.
Overall, it wasn’t a game to really take a lot from. The Indians got beat today – it happens. I’m disappointed in the lack of offense over the last week, but it will probably return to normal sooner rather than later. I worry about Salazar (and realize now that all that “Dark Horse Cy Young” talk back in March was ridiculous), but the Indians don’t have much of a choice than to keep trotting him out there every fifth day.
The Indians head to Minnesota on Tuesday for a crucial three game series with the Twinkies. The Tribe has not fared well against the lesser teams within the Central Division, and absolutely need to take two of three to stay afloat. A sweep would be great, too.