The good part about the Indians’ 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night was that Carlos Carrasco had his third quality start in a row since returning to the starting rotation. Six innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 8 strikeouts, 2 walks. Darn good night. Heaven knows we need more starting pitching. The sole run he gave up was a solo dinger to Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the 5th. And the Indians answered right back with a solo home run by Zach Walters in the bottom of the 5th.
Zach Walters has now homered in three straight games. He has played in 10 games for the Indians and homered in five of them. Unfortunately Carrasco’s fine start and Walters’ efforts were wasted due to a half-inning that made the Indians look like the Keystone Kops.
Honestly, the Tribe gave this game away as a welcoming gift to the visiting Astros. In the bottom of the 8th, with the score still tied 1-1, the Indians had no outs and runners on 1st and 2nd. Instead of turning one of those base runners into a run, both Mike Aviles and Tyler Holt managed to get themselves thrown out trying to steal 3rd. Suddenly there are two outs and nobody on for Roberto Perez, who proceeded to strike out.
Here’s another way to give away a ballgame. In the top of the 9th with 1 out, Chris Carter walked. Dexter Fowler came and hit a bouncer to Carlos Santana. He fielded the ball cleanly but made a throwing error trying to get Carter out at 2nd. The ball sailed over Jose Ramirez‘s head, allowing Carter to go to 3rd. Fowler, meanwhile, was safe at 1st. No double play to get out of the inning, no stepping on first to get an easy out.
And then it got better. Or worse, depending on your perspective. Gregorio Petit replaced Carter at 3rd as a pinch runner. He then scored when Dexter Fowler stole second and the throw from Roberto Perez bounced off the ground, off Jose Rarmirez’s chest, and richocheted into the outfield. After this second error, Zach Meisel pointed out on Twitter: “The Indians committed 98 errors last year. The Indians have committed 99 errors this year, with 35 games remaining.” They lead the majors in errors.
By this time, Indians closer Cody Allen was looking as though he’d rather be anywhere else but the mound. And it got worse. After throwing 25 pitches in a frustrating inning, on his 26th pitch, Allen gave up a three-run homer to Jon Singleton, making the score 5-1 going into the bottom of the 9th. Unfortunately the frustration continued. Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the 9th and reached 1st on a fielding error by Astro’s 3rd baseman Matt Dominguez. Jose Ramirez singled and suddenly there were runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Sadly, this is a familiar scenario. Michael Brantley lined out. Sand since Asdrubal Cabrera is no longer here to do it, Carlos Santana grounded into a double play to end the game.