Well, the title of this recap pretty much says it all because that is exactly what happened last night and then some
Up by a score of 2-0 heading into the top of the ninth inning, Terry Francona called up closer Chris Perez to shut the door on the Tigers. A mere 13 pitches later and Chris Perez was walking off of the mound with his tail between his legs after surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk. The biggest blow of which came off of the bat of catcher Alex Avila. After surrendering a run on a single by Victor Martinez, Avila stepped to the plate and homered to left center on a pitch that Perez left out of the plate. The three run jack put the Tigers up 4-2.
Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions of that moment.
This wasn’t the Indians throwing away a game in mid-May against the Blue Jays or the Astros. This was a statement game against the team they are currently chasing at the top of the division in August. These are the types of games that have to result in W’s, not choke job L’s.
Yes, you could point to other moments throughout the game where the Indians could have done more. A hit here or a hit there and maybe they’re up 4-0 of 6-0 heading into the ninth. That’s not how things played out. Instead, they relied on their closer to do the one thing he is asked to do for this team and he couldn’t get the job done. That falls on Perez’s shoulders, plain and simple. He has to be better.
Aside from Perez failing to nail down the save, the Tribe wasted a magnificent start from Corey Kluber. In 7.1 innings, Kluber gave up six hits and a walk but didn’t allow a single run to cross the plate. He was magnificent and deserved a better fate than the one that was bestowed upon him thanks to Chris Perez.
Offensively, the Indians scored their two runs in the second and the fourth.
In the second inning, Jason Giambi singled to center to bring home Michael Brantley. In the fourth, Carlos Santana drilled a double to right center, once again scoring Brantley and putting the Tribe up 2-0 for most of the remainder of the game.
Aside from those two innings, the Indians were held in check for most of the game thanks largely in part to Anibal Sanchez. The Tiger hurler limited the Indians to only two runs on four hits and two walks. For good measure he also struck out 11 Indians.
The loss drops the Indians to four games back of the Tigers in the Central division standings and pushed the Tigers’ record to 10-3 against the Indians in 2013. The Tribe will look to bounce back tonight as Justin Masterson takes the mound against Justin Verlander.
The Good: Corey Kluber was awesome last night. Too bad he couldn’t get the victory he deserved after 7.1 innings of shut out ball.
The Bad: Chris Perez. Chris Perez. Chris Perez. And the Indians offense for good measure. Five hits and 11 strikeouts isn’t going to get the job done.