But the Worldwide Leader and my car radio kept me informed. I missed seeing Josh Tomlin give up a first-inning run and a three-run homer in the second, but I also missed seeing the Indians also score first one run, then three more, to tie the game. I looked forward to getting home and settling in to watch the rest of the game.
I needn’t have hurried home, though, because Tomlin opened the fifth inning by giving up a double, a walk, and another double, giving the Nats a 5-4 lead. Exit Tomlin, enter Dan Otero. Otero retired the first batter he faced, then gave up a double of his own, plating two more Nats runs and making the score 7-4 by the time I pulled into my parking lot.
I had to hang my hopes on an Indians comeback. But it was not to be, not today. The Indians eked out only four hits over the last six innings. Twice the Tribe managed to get two men on base in an inning, but each time the little rally fizzled out like a child’s sparkler in the rain.
We might need to talk about Josh Tomlin. He’s been rocked in each of his last two starts, and has given up 27 home runs, more than anyone else in the major leagues. You can live with the occasional solo homer, which most of his have been, but the three-run moon shots like the one he allowed today will do a team in. Here’s hoping he can get back on track and help the team stay atop the AL Central in the remaining weeks of the season. As the projected fourth starter, he probably wouldn’t get to see much postseason action, at least not as a starter, but the Indians have to get to the playoffs first before they need to worry about that.
Another goat in Wednesday’s game: right fielder Abraham Almonte. He went 1 for 4 at the plate with an RBI, but his inability to track down and catch deep fly balls hit his way led to two Nats doubles. He didn’t exactly cost the team a victory, but each of those balls could and should have been caught. I never thought I’d write a sentence like this one, but Lonnie Chisenhall would probably have caught them. You can’t afford to give extra outs to good teams like the Nats.
The final score at Nationals Park: Nats 7, Indians 4. The teams thus split the two-game series, and split the season series at two wins and two losses apiece. The Indians return to Cleveland tomorrow for an 11-game home stand, the longest home stand of their season. It’d be nice to see the Tribe go at least 7-4 over those next 11 games; anything less, and they might feel the breath of Tigers on the backs of their necks.
Update: Speaking of the Tigers, they had been playing the Mariners in Seattle. In case you hadn’t heard, the Mariners beat the Tigers on Wednesday evening, 3-1. The loss means the Tigers gained no ground on the Indians on Wednesday; they remain 3.5 games out of first place in the AL Central. Thanks, Mariners!