Well, that’s not exactly how the start of the second half was supposed to go.
Trevor Bauer set the tone for Sunday’s outing by getting bounced in the first inning, giving up four runs while recording just two outs, and the A’s cruised to a 7-3 win. It capped off a brutal weekend in which the A’s swept the Tribe by a combined score of 17-6.
Oakland hasn’t been kind to to the Indians in recent years. Since 2012, the Indians have won just one series in Oakland, and have now been swept twice in that span.
This is the first time the Indians have started the second half with a sweep since 2005, when the White Sox took four straight games in Jacobs Field. But before you panic, keep in mind the Indians went on to win 93 games that season.
It’s a rough setback, but there is still plenty of time of recover.
Some other thoughts and notes on the game…
The Indians have now dropped four straight, their first four-game losing streak since 2015. According to ESPN, the Indians 312 game streak without a four-game losing streak is the third-longest stretch in major league history behind the 1931-33 New York Yankees (346) and the 1917-19 Indians (316)
Over his last eight starts, Bauer has allowed 18 walks in 36 innings. Control has always been the obstacle Bauer needs to overcome, but he just can’t get over the hump. He’s under team control through 2020, but the team has to be thinking about his future with the team as the trade deadline nears. As a 26-year-old with three years left on his contract he has some trade value still. I’m certain the front office isn’t actively shopping Bauer, but I would also bet he isn’t off limits.
If you’re inclined to worry about the AL Central right about now, take another look at the run differentials in the division. The Indians are still +65 and the only team above 0. The standings might be close, but it’s difficult to imagine the Royals, Twins and Tigers hanging around much longer given their overall performance.