Indians Have No Answers for Twins
On Saturday, I attended my first Indians game in Cleveland since July 20, 2012. On that fateful Friday evening, the Indians took on the Baltimore Orioles. It didn’t end well. The Orioles pounded the Indians 10-2 and kicked off the mid-summer meltdown that would ultimately cost Manny Acta his job.
After Saturday’s 7-3 rout at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, I’m a little worried that I may never be allowed to return to Progressive Field. Please don’t banish me. I can’t become a Reds fan.
For one member of the Indians, Saturday’s game was a big deal. That player, of course, was Carlos Carrasco. After struggling to find his footing at the big league level, Carrasco earned the fifth and final spot in the rotation after a fierce competition with Josh Tomlin, Aaron Harrang, and Trevor Bauer. This was his first shot at proving to everyone that his being named to the starting rotation had more to do with his spring performance and less to do with being out of minor league options.
Much like my not so triumphant return to Progressive Field, things did not go well for Carrasco on Saturday.
In the top of the first inning, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier took the second pitch of the game deep to left field for a solo home run. The 0-1 fastball low and away was easy pickings for Dozier. He turned and yanked it to left, ricocheting it off of the metal railings stationed atop the left field wall. A few batters later, the Twins expanded their lead on an RBI single by Jason Kubel. Two pitches later, Josmil Pinto singled to drive in the Twins third run of the game.
Two innings later, the Twins bumped their lead up from 3-0 to 5-0. Chris Colabello was hit by pitch to lead things off. Trevor Plouffe followed with an RBI double and later advanced to third on a passed ball by the usually sure handed Yan Gomes. Moments later, Plouffe would score on Gomes’ second passed ball of the inning.
In the bottom half of the third, Lonnie Chisenhall made his best effort to push for more playing time. After doubling down the right field line, Following a walk to Nyjer Morgan to create a bit of a rally, Nick Swisher hit into a double play. It advanced Chisenhall to third but severely limited how he could score. A few pitches later, he would cross the plate on a wild pitch by Kyle Gibson.
From that point forward things were relatively quiet. Carrasco settled into the rhythm of the game, but at 5-1 it was a case of too little, too late. The Indians offense, limited by the Twins pitching staff, was unable to get anything going offensively. It wasn’t until the bottom of the ninth when the Indians offense finally got something going. At that point it was 7-1 thanks to the ineffectiveness of Vinnie Pestano.
The Indians put forward a great effort once again in the ninth inning, but a six run deficit was far too much to overcome. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled home Carlos Santana and advanced Michae Brantley to third. Two batters later, Brantley would score on a sacrifice fly by Yan Gomes. It pushed the deficit to 7-3 but all hope ended when Trevor Plouffe tagged out Cabrera to end the game.
The loss dropped the Indians record on the young season to 3-2. For Minnesota, the victory was only their second of the season. Meanwhile, the victory had a more special significance for the Twins. Saturday was manager Ron Gardenhire‘s 1000th career victory as a manager. That makes him the fifth active manager with 1000 career victories. The others – Buck Showalter, Mike Scioscia, Bruce Bochy, and Terry Francona.
Another important detail from yesterday’s game, fellow Wahoo’s on First Staff member Ed Carroll and I were able to meet up for the game. This marked the first in person meeting between the two of us. It was both magical and a really fun time. We’re no longer internet friends. We’re now actual, real life, in person friends. Look out Cleveland. You’re on notice.
Also, this happened…