If you read IPL hoping to find out how the Indians did on a given day, then I probably should have put a SPOILER ALERT in the title of this post, because really the title says it all. On Friday night at Progressive Field, the Orioles did everything just a little bit better than the Indians did. The O’s pitched a little better than the Indians did. Their batters hit a little better than ours did. And although neither team made any errors, the Orioles fielded the baseball a little better than the indians did.
When you’re outperformed in all three of those categories, you just aren’t going to win the game. And indeed the Indians did not, as they (as you already know) lost by a score of 5-2.
Indians starter Shaun Marcum did a decent job, giving up three runs, all earned, over 6 1/3 innings. Like the stat or not (and I don’t), that qualifies as a quality start, especially coming from your fifth starter. You don’t expect much more from your number five guy other than that he keep your team in the game, and Marcum did do that. He walked only one batter. True, he did give up a home run, as he’s done in all of his starts this season, but it was a solo homer to one of the best hitters the Orioles have, so really, how mad can you get about that?
Chris Tillman, the Orioles’ starter, also went 6 1/3 innings. Like Marcum, he allowed nine men to reach base, but he gave up only two runs. Those came in the fifth inning, when the Indians had four singles. T.J. McFarland and closer Zach Britton took over for Tillman and were credited with a hold and a save, respectively.
Up 3-2 in the eighth, the Birds scored two more runs when, with a runner on first, Indians right fielder Brandon Moss let a hard-hit ball get past him, thus turning a single into a triple. A sacrifice fly later in the inning scored the fifth and final run.
At 54 games in, the Indians’ season is officially one-third over. The Tribe’s record is 26-28. A win would have brought them to the elusive .500 mark for the first time since early April.
The two teams go at it again on Saturday afternoon. Former Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch for the Orioles, and Danny Salazar will take the (tiny) hill for the Tribe. I have it on good authority that plenty of good seats are available.