The Indians finally got fired up, came out scoring early, and beat arch rival Detroit. Despite an early pitcher’s duel and ninth-inning rally, Tuesday night was yet another crushing loss for the Cleveland Indians. The fifth inning was really all you needed to see—or cover your eyes during—to gauge the outcome of this game. With the score tied 1-1. After a double and strikeout to open the inning, Danny Salazar walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases with Miguel Cabrera coming to the plate. What happened next was devastating.
Grand Slam? Nope. Double in the gap to clear the bases? Nope.
Instead, Miggy hit a tapper about 20 feet towards the mound which looked like an easy 1-2-3 inning-ending double play. But this is the 2015 Cleveland Indians. Salazar fielded the ball and then initiated what can best be described as a “ghost throw” in which the ball fell backwards out of his hand during the throwing motion. Zero outs were recorded, the Tigers took a 2-1 lead on the costly error, and the inning imploded thereafter: Victor Martinez’ seeing-eye single tallied another run—chasing a frustrated Salazar in the process—and Zach McAllister would enter the game and quickly yield a hard-hit 2-run double to Yoenis Céspedes.
It is difficult “in the now” to try not to emphasize specific moments which may end up defining the Indians season. That being said, Danny Salazar had a momentum-swinging double play—against the vaunted Miguel Cabrera—and instead turned it into an unforgettable error which paved the way for another tough loss to the Tigers.
Here are my game notes:
*Dating back to 2013, in the last 25 Tigers-Indians games at Progressive Field, Detroit is now 20-5. Scary.
*After a 2 for 5 night at the plate with two strikeouts, Miguel Cabrera’s season average against the Indians plummeted to .619…It was .649 coming into play Tuesday night.
*Jason Kipnis is on fire. The JK Kid went 4 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI to raise his average to an American League best .354 on the season. Though he won’t garner the votes, Kipnis deserves to start the All-Star game as he continues to turn heads around MLB.
*Kipnis’ AL Ranks: AVG (1st) .354, WAR (1st) 4.4, HITS (1st) 98, DOUBLES (1st) 24 OBP (2nd) .428
*Kipnis with the Glove: Field Percentage, AL Second Basement (3rd) .993
*Brandon Moss broke a brutal 0-26 slump with a single in the 9th inning Tuesday night. During that time, Moss saw his average dip from .255 to .230.
*Moss’ last 8 games: 1 Hit, 2 BB, 0 RBI, 11 strikeouts, 1 run scored.
*The Tribe will count on Carlos Carrasco to help them avoid the sweep Wednesday afternoon. Carrasco is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Tigers in 2015.