Josh Tomlin got lit up while Hiroki Kuroda kept Cleveland’s bats at bay as the Yankees hammered their way to a 7-1 victory to kick off the Tribe’s three-game series in New York. The loss drops the Indians to 37-35 as they remain a half-game behind the White Sox in the AL Cenral.
It was clear from the start that the Indians were in for a rough night. Tomlin walked Curtis Granderson with one out in the bottom of the first before allowing a single to Mark Teixeira to bring up Robinson Cano, who smashed Tomlin’s 2-0 pitch to center for a two-run double. It took Tomlin 35 pitches to get out of the inning as the Yankees pulled ahead 2-0.
Tomlin wasn’t out of the woods after the first. He gave up a two-run home run to Dewayne Wise in the bottom of the second before Cano and Nick Swisher lit him up for back-to-back jacks in the third. He was out of the game after three innings, and though the Tribe’s long relief corps (Scott Barnes, Esmil Rogers, Jeremy Accardo) fared better than Tomlin the Yankees managed another run in the sixth via Wise’s RBI double.
The Tribe’s’ only run came in the top of the eighth. Lonnie Chisenhall led off with a single and Shin-Soo Choo followed with a double to knock Kuroda out of the game; Jason Kipnis brought Chisenhall home on a sacrifice fly off Clay Rapada. But that was all the offense the Indians could muster as they dropped their third game in a 7-1 blowout.
The Good: Big props to the Tribe’s bullpen corps who followed Tomlin’s rough outing with aplomb. Scott Barnes, Esmil Rogers, and Jeremy Accardo combined to throw five strong innings, holding the powerful Yankees’ lineup to just one run on two hits while racking up three strikeouts. It didn’t end up mattering, but it was good to see strong performances from relievers besides Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez.
The Bad: We sort of saw this coming—a soft-tossing flyball pitcher facing a powerful lineup in a tiny ballpark sounds like a recipe for disaster—but even in that context it was a rough outing for Josh Tomlin. The Bombers rocked him for six runs (all earned) on six hits in just three innings. He gave up two walks and three home runs, though there is some small bit of solace to be taken in that he struck out three Yankees in as many innings.
On the other hand, the Tribe’s offense was stuck in neutral—again. After Monday’s one-run, five-hit debacle the Indians have now scored just five runs in their last four games. Perhaps it’s time for a trade after all. And Kuroda isn’t even left-handed.
The “Huh?”: Lonnie Chisenhall entered Monday’s game with an OPS of .738. Jack Hannahan was OPSing .722. Casey Kotchman‘s stood at just .636. Yet Kotchman once again hit ahead of more deserving players in the bottom of the order. It’s as though he and Jose Lopez‘ names are filled with helium whenever Manny Acta fills out the lineup card.
Interesting Tidbit: Following 8-1 and 7-1 losses to the Astros this week, Monday’s loss marks the first time the Indians have been held to one run or less three games in a row this year. The last time they suffered through such a streak was July 26-29, 2011, when they lost 2-1 and 3-1 to the Angels before the Royals clobbered them 12-0.