Of all the losses I’ve recapped in the past year or so, this loss felt the least frustrating, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating at times. I thought both teams played pretty well, and it was just one of those games out of 162 that you’re going to lose and you have to shrug your shoulders and move on.
Corey Kluber and Michael Fulmer started this game, and they both pitched pretty well, but Fulmer was better. Kluber had his strikeout pitch working, but he only lasted five innings because of a high pitch count. You have to credit the Tigers for working a lot of counts and fouling off pitches. Aaron Boone, part of the ESPN Sunday night crew (which is actually pretty good, even if we did have to relive David Ross’s miraculous home run about 100 times too many), did an excellent job describing how the Tigers were able to break through in a 1-1 game after Kluber exited:
The Indians bullpen is great, but if you can get into that relatively soft underbelly of Nick Goody and Dan Otero, you have a chance to score some runs… and score they did. Heading into the bottom of the 7th inning, the score was 5-1, Fulmer was cruising, and the Indians looked halfway to vacation.
Then, however, Jose Ramirez came to bat with Edwin on base, and he promptly ripped his 17th home run of the year into the right field stands to make it 5-3. The Indians would then rip two straight hits and chase Fulmer, but would get no closer in the 7th. The Indians then rallied in the 8th inning, loading the bases on walks, but could not get the big hit. The 9th inning was fairly quiet, as Zimmer would work a 2-out hit, but Lindor finished his 0-5 night with a big nothing.
The loss puts the Indians at 47-40 going into the break. That’s good for a 2.5 game lead in a weak AL Central — I have to consider the Indians strong favorites to win the division, but the team has to put it all together for a 2-3 week stretch to really feel like a contender.
Overall, not a terrible night. Just one of those games.
See ya after the break, folks.