Through the first five innings of the baseball game that just concluded between the Indians and Twins, everything was going according to the early season script — Corey Kluber was dominant, and the offense was dormant.
Unfortunately for the Indians, the game continued to follow that same script.
The Indians offense failed to scrape together more than two runs against one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball, and the Twins hung around long enough to escape with a win on a walk-off home run by Trevor Plouffe off of Brian Shaw in the bottom of the 11th inning.
There’s simply no sugar coating it right now: the Indians offense is awful. It’s only been nine games, but let’s break it down, shall we?
Highest batting average in today’s lineup: Lonnie Chisenhall (.269 after a 2-4 today)
Michael Bourn has a .531 OPS and he doesn’t have anything resembling speed anymore.
Kipnis has a .520 OPS and thinking about this makes me sad.
Moss has a .568 OPS, but he did hit a home run today. I’m not terribly worried about Moss.
Jose Ramirez has a .535 OPS.
Roberto Perez has a .597 OPS, and he is only playing because Yan Gomes is hurt — that tells you how bad the rest of the lineup has been.
I know it’s early, I know Francona’s history of managing teams to overachieve offensively, I know it is beyond silly to think this means the Indians will finish below .500 this season (it’s just too early!)… but it’s not fun to watch this offense right now. In fact, it’s downright painful.
Anyway, let’s talk about Corey Kluber — he was perfect through five innings then let the Twins tie up the game in the 6th in a very bizarre sequence that involved wild pitches, fielder’s choices that didn’t result in outs, and errors (of course). He was brilliant at times, and two runs allowed in 8 innings (with 8 strikeouts) should usually result in a win. Instead, Kluber is still looking for that first W of 2015.
He is still stuck with only one loss, however, because the game was tied and went to extra innings. The bullpen, a strength for the last two years, has been shaky early. Zach McAllister got some important outs in the 9th and 10th, but the Twins did load the bases after Scrabble came on to face his lefty and walked him (0.0 IP out of Marc Rzepczynski seems to be a trend early on). Brian Shaw did get out of the inning without allowing the Twins to score, but promptly served up the game-deciding meatball to Plouffe the next inning.
Tomorrow the Indians try again