Trevor Bauer was frustrated today in Boston as he gave up 4 ER on 8 hits, striking out none and walking 2 in 5 IP.
The Indians were hoping to get their sixth straight win today. Instead, they were beat 9-1 and were dangerously close to being no-hit. There’s not a ton to say about this one, other than “ugh, that was ugly” but there are a few things to mention.
Joe Kelly, who spent much of the season on the disabled list, returned with a bang for the Red Sox today. He took a perfect game into the fifth inning, and when he suddenly developed a ton of command issues. Even though he walked the bases loaded, the Indians could not take advantage and Kelly made it out of the inning with the no-hitter in tact. Because his pitch count was climbing (that fifth inning put a big dent in it) it was unlikely Kelly was going to get a complete game no-hitter out of this. Since he was coming off of an injury, Boston probably wanted to be conservative with his pitch count. After Juan Uribe doubled in the seventh inning to break up the no-hitter, Kelly was pulled in favor of Junichi Tazawa. The Indians didn’t have any better luck against the Red Sox bullpen, although they did get their second hit (and lone run) when Carlos Santana launched a solo home run onto the top of the green monster off of Heath Hembree.
Trevor Bauer ran into trouble early against the Boston lineup. It’s loaded with hitters that are on fire right now, and Bauer just kept leaving the ball up right over the plate. He seemed baffled and frustrated by his misfortune (as did Matt Underwood and Rick Manning on the television broadcast) but these pitches weren’t fooling anyone. Bauer left the game with Boston up 4-0, which honestly isn’t that bad for that lineup in Fenway Park. It honestly could’ve been much worse, but he danced out of trouble a few times. The rest of the runs were charged to Kyle Crockett and Joba Chamberlain; Chamberlain gave up a grand slam to Mookie Betts in the bottom of the seventh inning.
On the television broadcast, they contended that Chamberlain should have been out of the inning with a double play prior to Betts’s at-bat. The bases were loaded with one out, when Christian Vazquez hit a ground ball to Uribe. Instead of stepping on third and throwing to first, (or throwing to second to start the double play, as the announcers wanted them to do), Uribe threw home to get the lead runner. Perhaps he should’ve attempted to turn the double play, although I’m not completely convinced he would’ve managed to get the runner at first after getting the out at second. But let’s face it – why is this something we’re even arguing about at this point? The Indians had one hit and did not look likely to turn that performance around in the 8th or 9th inning. What is the difference whether it’s 5-0 or 9-0…you had one hit. I mean, I guess one could argue that in a close game that could’ve been a huge error, but like I said, it wasn’t clear he would’ve successfully turned the double play.
One last contentious move today (or at least contentious to the fans at Fenway Park) – the Indians opting to intentionally walk Jackie Bradley, (and pitch around him a second time) even with his 25 game (now 26 game) hitting streak on the line. Yes, I know that they’re kind of chickening out of facing a hot hitter right now, but maybe some of the blame should’ve been directed toward John Farrell for that. When you put a guy hitting .179 after Bradley, Jr., you’re kind of begging for a team to pitch around him in order to face the guy hitting .179. To me, it just made sense to avoid the man who is likely the hottest hitter in baseball right now. The intentional walk in the first inning was a very wise move – David Ortiz was on second and there were two outs. With first base open, it’s kind of a no-brainer that you’d walk Bradley, Jr. and hope to get Ryan Hanigan (and his .179 average) for the third out (which they did).
The Indians hope to win the series tomorrow as Danny Salazar squares off against Rick Porcello, before heading to Chicago for a four-game series.