If there is any consolation to be had in the 3-2 loss to the Astros on Friday night, it is that Brett Myers had another quality start.
Unfortunately for the skidding Indians, Myers’ propensity for giving up homers is becoming a major concern. And two consecutive long balls would prove to be too much to overcome. Just more bad news for an offense that seems to be in a major funk en route to their fifth straight loss to open the ten-game road trip.
The Astros did all of their damage in the second inning with back-to-back homers. JD Martinez would hit a two-run-shot, his second of the season, while Rick Ankiel would follow with his fourth. Myers would go five innings, striking out four and walking two.
But it wasn’t like the Tribe didn’t have their chances. Astros starter Lucas Harrell was only marginally better (5 2/3 IN/2 ER/4 SO/5 BB), but only surrendered Lonnie Chisenhall’s second homer in the fourth inning. Even with Harrell’s generosity with baserunners, the Indians’ inability to both get the clutch hit came to the forefront. Not moving a runner over (Nick Swisher leads off with a double in the eighth inning off of Hector Ambriz; didn’t move an inch), and not working the count late (two first-pitch outs in the ninth against Jose Veras??????) proved to be the story. Former Indians shutting the door is painful enough, but the lack of execution lately is dumping the salt on the bloody wounds on their feet that they’ve taken bazookas to. They’re gripping the bats way too tightly one through nine right now, and it shows.
Not a whole lot of good to take out of a game that, on paper, should be a good matchup for the Tribe in a weakened and rebuilding Astros team. It might just be the classic case of catching the Indians at the right time (and I think the Bourn injury hurts more than they’d like to admit), but it all comes down to execution and smarts. Both were in short supply tonight, and now they face a steep climb if they want to take the series.
The Indians will try to snap their losing steak as Scott Kazmir will make his Indians debut tomorrow.
W: Lucas Harrell (1-2); L: Brett Myers (0-3) S: Jose Veras
Player of the Game: JD Martinez (1-2; 2-R HR)