Well that wasn’t fun. This morning we discussed how May is a new month and could be a fresh start for the Cleveland Indians, particularly after a 9-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night. Unfortunately Saturday night offered more of what we saw far too much of in April, deficiencies in both pitching and hitting. They defending Cy Young Award winner was shelled, and the lineup produced only two runs. I’m no genius, but this seems like a recipe for losing baseball.
The Blue Jays scored quickly to start the game when Devon Travis came home on an Edwin Encarnacion double, but the Tribe answered in the bottom of the first with Jason Kipnis scoring on a slow Carlos Santana grounder to third base. Things remained knotted up at one until the bottom of the third inning when Kipnis scored again, this time off a Michael Brantley single to center. The Blue Jays answered back in the top of the fourth inning with a Russell Martin home run off Corey Kluber, and the game was tied at two.
Then things started to get ugly.
In the top of the fifth inning Kluber loaded the bases with nobody out. Kluber then gave up a broken bat (more like shattered) single to Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays took a 4-2 lead. From there, the Indians were able get out of the inning without further damage and went into the second half of the game down only two runs at home.
If only the damage ended there.
Marc Rzepczynski, Anthony Swarzak, and Bryan Shaw combined to pitch the sixth inning in relief of Kluber, and each man recorded an out. In between those outs they gave up four hits and two walks, which, combined with a throwing error by Lonnie Chisenhall, accounted for six runs, giving Toronto a 10-2 lead. The Indians added a couple in the eighth and the Jays scored one more in the ninth, making it a final of 11-4 Toronto.
With this loss, the Indians are once again tied with the Texas Rangers for the worst record in the American League. As has been stated by countless people before, baseball is a marathon and there’s no point in panicking on May 2 with 149 games left to play. That being said, there are several reasons to be concerned. Over his last three starts, Kluber has a 7.27 ERA and a WHIP of 2.08. Something is obviously not write with the Tribe’s ace right now, and combined with the injuries they’ve already seen this season, a promising young rotation is practically in shambles. The offense isn’t doing their part either as Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn are the only regulars hitting above .250.
All that being said, the season rolls on there is plenty of time left for the Indians to turn things around. Terry Francona is a tremendous manager, and while he cannot control injuries, he has shown the ability to get the most out of his teams on too many occasions to count. As bad as things look, there’s no reason to give up on Tito or his guys now.