I guess it wouldn’t be entirely fair to say that the sole reason the Indians lost to the Texas Rangers on Sunday was because Indians relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Zach McAllister each made throwing errors in the same inning. But the Tribe was ahead 8-7 before the first error was made, and they were losing 9-8 after the second error, so I’m going to pin the loss on those errors whether it’s fair to do so or not.
Indians starting pitcher Shaun Marcum, who looked impressive during his last outing, pitched poorly on Sunday. Back-to-back homers from the bats of Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre put the Indians in a 3-0 hole before some fans had the chance to find their seats. The Indians countered with one run in the first and four in the second (and let’s give props to catcher Roberto Perez and his three-run homer), giving them a short-lived 5-3 lead: short-lived because Marcum again struggled in the third inning, eventually being charged with four more runs and putting the Rangers on top, 7-5. But the Indians tied the game in their half of the third and took an 8-7 lead in the sixth after Carlos Santana walked and Michael Brantley doubled to drive him in.
Then came the seventh. With Delino DeShields on first and one out, Rzepczynski entered the game. He tried to pick DeShields off first but threw wildly, allowing DeShields to advance to second base. A groundout moved him to third, and then he scored on a Fielder single.
Exit Rzepczynski, enter Zach McAllister. After Beltre singled, Josh Hamilton, making his first MLB appearance of 2015, hit a routine grounder to the mound. McAllister fielded it cleanly, then inexplicably threw the ball high and far to the left of first baseman Carlos Santana, who had no hope of laying a glove on the throw. Fielder, not known for his speed, was easily able to score from second. McAllister gave up a solo home run in the eighth to make the score 10-8, and that is how it ended.
It’s nice to see the Indians offense put a lot of runs on the board again. I admit I haven’t done the math here, but if you score eight runs, well, darn it, you ought to be able to win the game. Last season the Indians scored 8 or more runs 19 times (!) and only lost one of those games. Overall the bullpen pitched well on Sunday, allowing only three runs over the last 6 2/3 innings, but those throwing errors really cost the Indians the game. And that’s a darn shame, because that seventh consecutive victory was ours to hold on to, before Rzepczynski and McAllister literally threw the game away.
The Indians and Rangers play again tomorrow at Progressive Field. Game time is 7:10 PM.