Author’s Note- Sorry for not writing during this past week. I was enjoying a vacation in Boston that included a few games at the majestic Fenway Park.
The Indians came into Texas after splitting a tough series with Boston. It was a series that saw the Tribe lose on two walk-off hits by Jacoby Ellsbury. The Indians could have easily swept the series, but a split against a tough Red Sox team was not all that bad.
Friday’s game saw the Indians get off to a great start. The offense gave Ubaldo Jimenez 3 insurance runs in the first inning of the game. They then followed this with 3 more in the second, and added another run in the third.
Ubaldo exited the game in the sixth inning with the score at 7-5, with the Indians in the lead. Durbin, Smith, and Pestano each pitched one scoreless inning ,and Chris Perez came in for the save in the ninth.
He recorded two outs but then allowed a Josh Hamilton single, which was followed by a game-tying home run by Michael Young. They would go on to lose in 11 innings, which meant that this was the third straight loss for the Indians in which they lost in a walk-off.
They followed up with a win on Saturday, which was made too interesting by Chris Perez in the ninth. He came in with a three run lead, which was due to a 4 run ninth by the offense.
As he did on Friday, Perez quickly retired the first two batters. This was followed by a walk, and a single that scored Ian Kinsler. The score was now 7-5 and this looked eerily similar to Friday’s game.
Perez would allow another single to Josh Hamilton, and Michael Young came up to the plate as the winning run with two outs in the ninth. Perez threw a wild pitch that meant a single by Young could tie up the game. Luckily, Perez got Young to ground out to end the game.
Last night’s game looked like it would be a sure win for the Tribe, until the eighth inning. Tomlin was lights out through the first seven, as he allowed no runs.
Tomlin had a rough start to the eighth. It began with a walk to Mike Napoli and was followed by a single by Mitch Moreland. Tomlin was replaced by Joe Smith, which turned out terribly.
Smith came in and allowed all four of the batters he faced to reach base. He could not even record one out, and was replaced by Rafael Perez, but the damage had been done. The Rangers were now up 5-3 heading into the ninth, and newly acquired Mike Adams recorded the save for the Rangers.
All four losses for the Tribe came either on a walk-off or a late inning comeback. The bullpen was to blame for all of these losses, and this is a problem that must be addressed going forward. Time is running out in the season, and the Indians are failing to gain any ground on the Tigers.
This upcoming series against the Tigers can be a defining moment in the season. Will the Indians gain ground in the division, or fall too far back to compete? We will all have to wait and see.