Tribe falls to Tigers

September 15, 2012

The last time the Indians faced Justin Verlander of the Tigers, the Indians were . . . well, they weren’t riding high, exactly, but neither did they have anything to be ashamed about. That game took place on July 26, and the Indians beat the Tigers at Progressive Field that night, largely because they got to Verlander for four runs in the seventh inning. Back-to-back homers by Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner (you remember Travis Hafner, right) tied the game, and four more Indians reached base that inning on singles and a Detroit error. Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez did what they get paid to do, and that night the Indians won the most exciting game played at Progressive Field this season, 5 to 3. At the time, the Indians were very much in the hunt for the AL Central division title.

Immediately after that win, the Indians embarked on a nine-game road trip and lost every game. They also lost whatever hopes they had to contend in 2012. The Indians have faced the Tigers since that July 26 game, but they haven’t had to face Verlander again until tonight. They weren’t even supposed to face him tonight, either, as he was supposed to have pitched against the White Sox on Thursday, but that game got rained out.

This time Verlander was in total command from the start. Having been given a 2-0 lead before he took the mound, thanks to the Tigers getting four hits and two runs off Tribe starter Corey Kluber in the top of the first inning, Verlander made quick work of the Indians batters tonight. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and walking only one batter en route to his 14th win of the season. Kluber allowed two more runs in the second, and that was all the scoring that took place in the game, as the Tigers won, 4-0.

The Indians are now 60-85 on the season. Ten of those losses were shutouts. The Indians have scored 2 or fewer runs in 49 of their games this season. Teams who do that get to watch the leaves turn in October, and their players get to pick out pumpkins for their kids as Halloween approaches, because they sure as shootin’ don’t get to take part in any postseason games.


  • Drew says:

    While I agree with your assessment of scoring 2 or fewer runs 49 times leads spectating the postseason instead of playing, I’d like to point out that there are two teams that have a shot at the postseason who have lower team batting averages: The Tampa Rays and Oakland A’s. So while the lack of offense is clearing killing the Indians this season, having the 28th highest team ERA or struck the second fewest opposing batters is also a major contributing factor.
    I live 150 miles south of Baltimore so I am gonna ride that train as long as it will go. Here is to hoping that the Orioles and A’s make it to the postseason!

  • Mark says:

    Although I agree that poor pitching has been the major factor in the sad showing by the 2012 Indians, I think the statistic Vern’s brings up is all about “Runs” not batting average. Both the Rays and A’s rank higher than the Tribe in runs scored. More walks, sacrifices, clutch hitting, and less double plays I suspect.

  • Steve Alex says:

    The bad hitting and bad pitching contribute to each other. The pitchers are tense because they feel like they have to pitch a shutout to win because there’s no run support, and the hitters are tense because they come to bat in the bottom of the first inning down 4-0 every night. When Masterson was still pitching halfway decent, he went 8 starts without getting more than one run of support. You think that doesn’t mess with your head? Everything has just snowballed totally out of control and there is plenty of blame to go around. It takes a lot to lose 100 games.

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