In many ways, this was just another day for the Indians: Superlative pitching by a starter that is offset by a slumbering lineup.
You can pretty much count on the Indians lineup looking like they’re wanting to take the day off when Corey Kluber (7.2 INN/4 H/1 ER/11 SO) is on the hill. Today was another day of ace-quality work, as Kluber took a perfect game into the sixth inning. Unfortunately, his teammates were stymied by Jon Lester (8.2 INN/6 H/1 ER/6 SO/1 BB), who was nearly Kluber’s equal in this old-school pitcher’s duel.
But while the offense was stagnant, much of the blame today falls at the feet of Terry Francona, who seemed reluctant to turn his baserunners loose on Lester, who is reluctant himself to throw over to first. By choosing to play station-to-station, Francona repeatedly cost his troops a chance to make Lester’s life hard.
The Tribe finally broke through in the ninth on Carlos Santana’s RBI single. And we thought that just maybe there would be a chance that the Indians could steal this one.
However, Francona’s tactical mistakes were the main story. Electing to give Cody Allen the day off, Francona turned to Zach McAllister in the ninth, who is a walking box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get with him. And on this day, we saw the tantalizing good that was only outweighed by the elements and the soul-crushing awful.
After striking out Chris Coghlan and Anthony Rizzo in order, McAllister had one more pitch. Thanks to the usual windy elements, Kris Bryant found the jet stream in right field and you know what happened next.
W: Hector Rondon (5-2); L: Zach McAllister (3-4)