Breaking bad redux

August 10, 2013

Remember how the Indians had a really lousy August last season? I mean really, really lousy? As in winning five games and losing 24?

Well, this August isn’t looking a whole lot better. It started out good, with the Tribe winning three of the first four games this month. But since then, things have turned sour, like a carton of milk left on the kitchen counter all day. Today the Indians lost their second straight game to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga, this time by a score of 7-2. The Indians are now free-fallin’ in a way that Tom Petty himself would envy.

Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was saddled with the loss, although he didn’t really pitch all that poorly. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs, one of which was unearned. That run was still Jimenez’ fault, though, as it came when, with one on in the fifth, Jimenez threw wildly to first on a ball which had bunted to the third-base side of the mound, allowing the baserunner to reach third and the batter to take second. Each of these baserunners went on to score on sacrifice flies.

Compared to what was to come later, though, that inning looked like a thing of beauty. Bryan Shaw came out to pitch in the eighth inning, and that’s when things really got sketchy for the Indians. After a leadoff single, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera bobbled what should have been a 6-4-3 double play grounder, and everybody was safe. A wild pitch by Shaw advanced both runners, and then a throwing error on a ball hit to Jason Kipnis allowed both runners to score. Cody Allen then came out to put a bow on things for the Angels, giving up a single, a walk, another single, and a sacrifice fly to give the Angels a 7-2 lead.

Of course, the way the Indians have been hitting lately, or rather failing to hit lately, that might as well have been a 72-2 lead. Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen struck out the side in the eighth, and it took Ernesto Frieri all of nine pitches to retire the Tribe in order in the ninth inning. The offense has been pathetic lately. They have gone 70 straight innings without scoring more than one run in any inning. I don’t care if your starting rotation consists of Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Justin Verlander in their primes: you aren’t going to win a lot of ballgames with an offense like that.

Before the game even ended, some wag on Twitter said “I’m calling a fans only meeting after the game tonight.” And why not? The seven-game homestand ends tomorrow with a 1:05 PM game against the Angels.

About the title of this post: last year I noted that the Indians late-season swoon coincided with the return of the AMC television series Breaking Bad. I opined, tongue firmly in cheek, that the Indians players were too preoccupied with the series to focus on baseball. Well, as fans of the program are well aware, the final eight episodes of the series are about to be broadcast. The first of these episodes runs tomorrow night. If my theory from last year holds true again in 2013, expect the Indians to finish at about 75-87. Sadly, Breaking Bad ends on the last day of the regular baseball season. And unless they turn things around in a big way, and in a hurry, the playoff hopes of the Indians are going to be as dead as I expect Walter White to be when the final credits roll on that eighth episode.

Oh, by the way, happy birthday, Rocky. Too bad you couldn’t have gotten to see a better game.

 

8 Comments

  • Gvl Steve says:

    A week ago we were talking about winning the division. Today we’re talking about last August. What a difference a week makes.

  • Andy says:

    The good news is that over our last 20 games we are 11-9.

    I guess all those people who criticized me for calling the beginning of this collapse on Wednesday won’t be around now. It is just going to be hard to win games with the way our offense is playing right now and the real problem is I am not sure that some of these guys really have a lot of upside either (Swisher is a career .255 hitter, Stubbs is .241). Santana’s walk rate is down somewhat and we all know Cabrera is completely lost.

    On a side note, I would actually like to see us bring us Lindor for September call ups if we are going to get rid of Cabrera in the offseason. The way he has torn up the minors, we might as well get a look to see if he can move up like some of the other recent young players in baseball.

  • Peter says:

    There is a lot of baseball yet to be played, and that may not be a good thing! Swisher’s at bat last night was indicative of his season, 3-1 count, 2 men on and he pops up ball 4 for an easy out. We weren’t ever tearing the cover off the ball, but we had timely hits. Oh, where have they gone?

  • Sean Porter says:

    Mr. Rocco Colavito deserved better on his 80th birthday, for sure.

  • Leo O'Neill says:

    It’s like groundhog day without the comedy, unless you count Cabrera’s defence. 5 down in the fourth, anaemic offence and the pitching coming back down to earth.

  • shaun says:

    asdrubal in: 0-5
    asdrubal out: 6-5

    that says it all (not really but i’m beating a dead horse)

  • Sean Porter says:

    There’s part of me that thinks the Indians would love to trade Cabrera off this coming offseason, like they did Choo in his walk year, start Aviles next year and let him man the position until Lindor is ready for a late season call-up/2015.

    There’s another part of me that thinks that Cabrera has really put a damper on what we could have gotten for him with his totally uninspiring all-around performance this season. Does anyone else think he’s played in a funk all season because of the offseason trade rumors?

    • shaun says:

      i don’t think i’d go so far as to say he doesn’t care but i think he’s trying too hard and its leading to incredible inconsistency. he’s swinging at pitches that are out of the zone and looking at ones that are in. at this point, i don’t think we’d get anything more than maybe a couple of backups, minor leaguers or some mid-to-late round draft picks or any combination of the above.

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  • [...] Of course, the way the Indians have been hitting lately, or rather failing to hit lately, that might as well have been a 72-2 lead. Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen struck out the side in the eighth, and it took Ernesto Frieri all of nine pitches to retire the Tribe in order in the ninth inning. The offense has been pathetic lately. They have gone 70 straight innings without scoring more than one run in any inning. I don’t care if your starting rotation consists of Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Justin Verlander in their primes: you aren’t going to win a lot of ballgames with an offense like that.” [Vern Morrison/It's Pronounced "Lajaway"] [...]