Once again, the Cleveland Indians lost a game started by Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young award winner. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the main reason for the loss wasn’t so much Kluber’s pitching as the failure of the Indians batters to string together enough hits to score enough runs to win. On Saturday, for the second straight evening, the Indians lost 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kluber had a rocky first inning, walking the first batter he faced and giving up a single to the next one before giving up a home run to Evan Longoria, making the score 3-0. Kluber gave up another run in the third but otherwise was in command for the rest of his time on the mound.
Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez pitched three scoreless innings before being removed from the game due to a groin injury. The Rays used five relief pitchers. One of them, Brandon Gomes, gave up a run in the eighth to make the score 4-1. Facing Rays closer Brad Boxberger in the ninth, the Indians mounted a too-little, too-late rally, loading the bases with two out for Giovanny Urshela. Mindful of the fact that many members pf the legendary 1995 Indians squad were in the house, Indians fans hoped that Urshela could channel the likes of Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, or Paul Sorrento, and get a big hit to tie the score, or to give the Tribe the win. But this is 2015, not 1995, and Urshela took a called third strike to end the game.
The Indians have now scored a measly six runs over their last four games, of which they have lost three. They have lost eight of their last twelve games. The excitement one felt thanks to the way the team played in May seems like a faded dream now. At 31-36, and despite the bright new prospects recently brought up from Columbus, the team, except for Jason Kipnis and maybe Mike Aviles and Michael Brantley, looks flat and stale. I wish I had something clever and funny to say about all this, but I can’t think of a thing.