For the first time in what seemed like a long time, the Indians pitching staff got beat up, knocked down, and thrown around. If the Royals and Indians were reenacting the Revolutionary War and the independence of America from the tyrannical rule of King George III, the Royals were definitely America while the Indians played the role of England. The end result of yesterday’s July 4th matinée was a 10-7 beat down that saw every pitcher except Matt Albers allow at least one run.
Ubaldo Jimenez started things off fr the Indians. He pitched well for the first five innings of the game. He navigated his way through the Royals lineup with relative ease and kept them in check. It wasn’t until the sixth inning that things got out of hand.
Already up by a score of 5-0 thanks mostly to Drew Stubbs, who was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI and a home run on the day, Jimenez proceeded to load the bases with no outs. Lorenzo Cain came to the plate looking to finally break through for the Royals and did he ever. On a 3-2 fastball, Cain pulled the Royals to within one with a grand slam to center field. Cody Allen promptly relieved Jimenez and immediately gave up the game tying home run to George Kottaras.
The Indians briefly took the lead back the following inning. Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley both reached base to lead off the inning. Carlos Santana followed with a double to right center to put the Indians up by a score of 7-5. The double was Santana’s 21st and the RBI were his 37th and 38th of the season. Unfortunately, that’s as much damage as the Indians would be able to put together. Mark Reynolds struck out, Mike Aviles grounded out, and Lonnie Chisenhall struck out to end the inning.
From there it was up to the Indians bullpen to once again hold on to the lead and for the second time in as many days they came up short. Joe Smith coughed up the game tying home run in the bottom of the seventh when the suddenly capable Eric Hosmer hit a two run home run to center field. In the bottom of the eighth, Bryan Shaw, Rich Hill, and Matt Albers combined to give up three runs. Shaw and Hill did the work to put runners on base, and then Albers gave up the three run double to Salvador Perez.
Greg Holland came on in the top of the ninth to close things out for the Royals and earn his 19th save of the seasons.
The Indians will look to bounce back this weekend with the Detroit Tigers coming to town for an extremely important four game series. After the past three days, the Tigers come to Progressive Field with a 1.5 game lead over the Tribe and looking to try to stretch it with a solid performance. Meanwhile, the Tribe can leap-frog their way into first if they can find a way to solve the riddle that has been the Tigers in 2013.
The Good: Drew Stubbs had a great day. He went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBI and was the primary catalyst for the Indians success in the early parts of yesterday’s game. Michael Brantley also went 4 for 5. Hopefully that is a sign that Brantley is ready to break out of a slump that lasted the greater majority of June.
The Bad: There is no point in rehashing it, but the pitching was terrible. Jimenez imploded on the mound in the sixth and the bullpen did themselves no favors by coughing up leads on two separate occasions. In their defense, they were used quite a bit throughout June and it may now just be catching up with them.
The “Huh?”: According to Fangraphs, the Indians had a 97% chance of winning yesterday’s game prior to Lorenzo’s Cain’s grand slam. Then, after regaining the lead their odds for victory climbed back to an 87% chance. Even still, somehow, someway, they found a way to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.