AZL Indians put up little fight in 19-3 drubbing to AZL Giants
GOODYEAR – Another day, another rough outing for the Indians pitching staff. I had to look twice to make sure that the box score was correct when I saw that the Giants scored 10 runs in the top of the eighth. This is the fourth straight game where the Indians pitchers have allowed at least eight runs in a game.
Both teams used the same amount of pitchers, six, in this game. The Giants hurlers managed to only give up three runs, which were all surrendered by their starting pitcher Luis Pino in the bottom of the second inning. After that, the rest of the Giants hurlers pitched lights out the rest of the way, striking out 13, issuing four walks and allowing only three hits. Pino only pitched two innings in this matchup. Relief pitcher Ethan Miller (1-0) ended up earning the win.
It was a different story for the Indians as starter Juan Santana, (1-2) ended up taking the loss in this one and had a tough outing. He was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the first by getting Giants right fielder Hector Mercedes to fly out to center fielder Clint Frazier.
The trouble started for Santana in the second. After the first three batters, Santana found himself in another jam, with runners on second and third and only one out. The first run came across the plate during the very next at-bat, as a wild pitch allowed Blake Miller to score, and Matt Pare to advance to third. After Christian Arroyo reached base on a walk, two batters later, Giants designated hitter Ryan Cavan collected his second single in as many innings, with a shot up the middle to bring in Pare. Christina Arroyo came in to score on a single by Francisco Peguero. Santana got Julio Pena to ground out to end the early rally.
The Indians offensive spark was only seen in the second inning. The Tribe can thank two defensive errors by the Giants in helping them get the only runs that they would score all night. The first one came when Gerald Bautista reached first base on a throwing error by Giants third baseman Ryder Jones, his second of the season, which ties him for second place with six other Giants.
Grant Fink doubled on a deep drive to left field that gave the Indians runners at second and third, and a good chance to put some runs on the board and start trying to chip away at the Giants lead. Mike Giuffre walked, which loaded the bases for Ordomar Valdez, who delivered with a single to right field that scored two runs that put the Tribe back in the game. Giuffre was thrown out trying to reach third on a frozen rope by Hector Mercedes. LeVon Washington brought home Valdez with single to left field. Clint Frazier ended the Indians big inning by grounding out to third base. That would be all the offense the Indians would see for the rest of the game, as the Giants pitchers left the Tribe swinging at air.
Other than two runs by the Giants in the fifth inning, things stayed relatively quiet until the eighth inning. It was a hit parade, as they were putting up runs faster than Joey Chestnut scarfs down hot dogs.
Indians pitching gave up eight runs with two outs in the eighth inning. Thomas Pannone relieved Naoki Hashimoto, after Hashimoto gave up two runs, but got two outs to start the inning. Pannone got himself into a jam right away, allowing the first six hitters he faced to reach base, five via hits, three of which were by pinch-hitters, and hitting Giants centerfielder Johneshwy Fargas with a pitch. When the inning was over, Pannone gave up six hits, six runs, all of which were earned, and one walk.
It’s obvious that pitching was the Indians downfall in this one. Everybody has a rough outing now and then, but having three pitchers give up at least 4 runs with two giving up six, no matter how powerful your offense is, if your pitching can’t bear down and get hitters out, it will be a long season, which is evident by the recent play of the AZL Indians. Throughout this four-game losing streak, the Tribe has allowed an average 11.5 runs and has scored an average of 2.5 runs. With the win, the Giants move to 15-2 on the season, while the Indians fall to 8-10.
The Indians next game is tomorrow against the AZL Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. First Pitch is at 7:00 PM MST.