Bats Can’t Muster Runs Against Another Average Pitcher
David Murphy’s first homer in nearly a month wasn’t enough to jolt some life into the Indians as they fell 4-2 to the Blue Jays in the series finale on Thursday night. Despite the fact that the Indians were able to pound out 9 hits, their offense couldn’t muster enough runs to overcome an early deficit left to them by Danny Salazar and C.C. Lee.
Bottom of the 2nd, game tied 0-0
Edwin Encarnacion wasted no time in his first at-bat of the night, smacking a home run to center field to put the Jays on the board. Adam Lind struck out looking, but Juan Francisco and his hot bat decided that one home run wasn’t enough, slugging one to deep left field. Brett Lawrie popped out, then Erik Kratz and Anthony Gose reached base via an infield single and a walk, respectively. But Salazar escaped further trouble when Jose Reyes flied out to end the inning.
Top of the 5th, Indians trail 0-2
After a flyout from catcher Yan Gomes, David Murphy slugged his third homer of the season to finally put the Tribe on the board. After Mike Aviles flied out, the Indians looked like they might be taking some momentum on a Michael Bourn single and a Nick Swisher walk. But Ryan Raburn grounded out to end the inning instead, leaving the Indians still trailing by 1.
Bottom of the 5th, Indians trail 1-2
C.C. Lee wasted no time in giving up all the response runs Toronto would need. He allowed a leadoff single to Jose Bautista, and then threw a meaty strike to Edwin Encarnacion that he graciously smacked over the wall in left field. Josh Outman came on to replace C.C. Lee before the rookie could even get an out. Outman and Scott Atchison escaped any further trouble in the inning, but the Blue Jays had the lead for good.
David Murphy continued his hot streak at the plate with yet another multi-hit game. Same for Asdrubal Cabrera. The back end of the bullpen continues to be strong, with scoreless performances from everyone but C.C. Lee. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot to be excited about.
It seems as though the Tribe’s inconsistency is what they’ll be known for this season. After a hot night, the bats couldn’t carry the momentum through to the next day. They were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and reached base a total of 13 times but could only cross it twice. Jesus Aguilar looked completely outmatched at the plate; even average Toronto pitchers made him look like a fool. C.C. Lee also looked completely outmatched. I don’t see the point in having an 8-man bullpen if your eighth man only pitches once every two weeks and can’t get an out. Also, Danny Salazar had another short day and gave up two more homers. I’m not sure how much longer he can pitch like this with Trevor Bauer doing well at AAA.
Check It Out
-Scott Atchison threw first-pitch strikes to all 7 batters he faced
-Danny Salazar has already given up 8 home runs this season
-Asdrubal Cabrera has raised his batting average over 60 points this week
-The loss dropped the Indians back into the cellar of the AL Central