The Indians aren’t going to win every game. It’s a fact that we have to come to accept despite how well they may be playing. Admittedly though, it sucks whenever they lose to the Tigers. Seriously, the Tigers. Why does it always have to be the Tigers?
Looking to extend a five game winning streak to six and expand their ever-growing lead in the AL Central. It just wasn’t meant to be. Led by a fantastic pitching performance by Max Scherzer, the Tigers came into Progressive Field last night and limited the Indians to just 1 run on 3 hits. Meanwhile, the Tigers jumped all over Tribe starter Corey Kluber and the rest of the Tribe pitching staff for 5 runs on 11 hits. It was the first time in a long time that neither the pitching nor the hitting showed up.
The Indians managed to score their one and only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. After a Michael Bourn lead off single and an Asdrubal Cabrera one out single, Michael Brantley stepped to the plate and did what he has done all year long – deliver in the clutch. Brantley hit a fly ball to right, scoring Bourn and putting the Tribe up 1-0. Unfortunately, the offense would stall from that point forward.
As for the Tigers, they did their damage in the top of the sixth and then again in the top of the ninth. In the sixth, the wheels fell off for Kluber, who had been pitching well up to that point. He allowed a lead-off home run to Andy Dirks to tie the game at 1-1. After a double to Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera crushed a 410 foot home run to center field and giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead they would never relinquish. In the ninth, they added on two insurance runs on RBI singles by Dirks and Prince Fielder.
The Tribe will look to salvage a split of this short, two game series when Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound against Justin Verlander. Can the Indians find a way to bounce back after a tough loss to their division rivals? We’ll have to wait and see. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
The Good: Despite the fact that he took the loss, Corey Kluber didn’t pitch that bad. He held a 1-0 lead heading into the sixth before he finally seemed to run out of gas. It’s another positive step in the right direction for a pitcher many have criticized (myself included) for not being all that reliable.
The Bad: For the first time in a long time it was the offense. They couldn’t get anything going against the Tigers tonight. One run on only three hits, two of which came in the first inning. Let’s see if the offense can bounce back and light up Justin Verlander tomorrow.
The “Huh?”: To the shock of many, Michael Brantley batted cleanup for the first time this season. Was it just a bit of experimentation on the part of Terry Francona or is this something we might see a little more of moving forward. Brantley is not the prototypical cleanup hitter, but what he lacks in power he makes up with in average and ability to make contact.