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Duffy, Royals blank cold Tribe offense, 2-0

Indians win suspended contest, but fall in a winnable second game

Duffy, Royals blank cold Tribe offense, 2-0
September 23, 2014
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CLEVELAND—You can’t win if you can’t score.

Or can you?

At least for one game on Monday, the Indians did just that.

Making up the suspended game with the Royals originally played at Kaufmann Stadium back on August 31, the Tribe edged their division rivals for a 4-3 win. Needing just three outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, Kansas City squeezed a run across against Scott Atchison, but held on to secure the one run victory.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done since in baseball since going to Japan,” manager Terry Francona said. “I didn’t really handle it really well and a lot of the guys said the same thing. It’s just too quick to get your heart rate up that fast. It’s a weird feeling.”

However, it was Monday’s regularly scheduled game with K.C. that left a bad taste and lasting impact when the night was over.

Behind a quality start from lefty Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32 ERA), the Royals blanked the Wahoos, 2-0 in the second affair.

“It’s not very often, you don’t score and come away with a split,” Francona said. “There’s not a lot of season left, so every time you lose a game at this point hurts.”

Getting within 2.5 games of a wild card spot after coming away with the win in the suspended contest, Cleveland (82-75) remains 3.5 back after the night’s split.

“We can’t really worry about what everybody else is doing, especially these games right here we’re playing against the Royals they’re right ahead of us,” infielder Mike Aviles said. “We were able to finish that first game, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get anything going.”

Offensively, Indians hitters banged out seven hits but couldn’t push any runs across, despite having chances to score early. Trailing by one run after the first inning, the Tribe managed to load the bases with no outs against Duffy, only to come away empty handed with nothing to show for it.

“I don’t think it was necessarily deflating, it was more upsetting than anything,” Aviles said. “The type of team we’ve been, we’ve scored runs later in the game. All year we haven’t really done much damage early in the game. Duffy hasn’t pitched in two weeks but he was tough and I think he settled in after that. They were able to keep us in check all night.”

The Royals southpaw allowed just six hits over six innings of work, issuing two walks while striking out five.

Cleveland went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position leaving nine on base.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 2.64 ERA) was equally effective, but notched a tough luck loss as he was stiffened by poor defense behind him.

Two big defensive miscues provided Kansas City with their only two runs of the ballgame—one by first baseman Chris Gimenez in the first inning and the other by shortstop Jose Ramirez in the fifth.

A two out RBI single by Eric Hosmer put the Royals on the board early after the ball deflected off Gimenez’s glove on a line drive to first base. Having racked up just six at-bats prior to Monday since August 4, the 31-year old journey man started at first base for the first time since coming to Cleveland.

“We tried to mix and match the best we can,” Francona said. “Everybody is a little banged up.”

Trailing K.C. by one in the fifth, Royals second baseman Omar Infante led off the inning with a double and scored two batters later on a RBI single by Alcides Escobar. The hard hit grounder went off Ramirez’s glove at short to give Kansas City a big insurance run.

“The ball Hosmer hit was scolded,” Francona said. “It just hit the end of his glove. And the ball to Jose, that would’ve been a really nice play. They’re makeable, they just happened pretty quick.”

“Everything was good, we should’ve made those plays,” Carrasco said. “I thought they had a pretty good chance to make them, but sometimes we don’t make those plays and it can cost us.”

The Indians starter gave his team yet another dominant outing, surrendering just the two runs on seven hits over 7 2/3 innings, allowing one walk and striking out nine.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Aviles said. “When he got moved to the bullpen he figured some things out while he was out there and he’s carried it right into the rotation. I think he’s feeding off the energy of [Corey] Kluber and all the young pitchers. Everybody has been pitching so great, it’s kind of like they have their own little competition among each other.”

With playoff hopes dwindling, Cleveland now needs to find a way to score runs, and fast. Only five games remain on the schedule, where all five have now become must-wins.

“Any loss from here on out is going to make it even more difficult,” Aviles said. “It just puts us in a situation where we really need help from other people. The bottom line is we have to take care of what we can. Right now we need to start figuring out how to win games and we have to take care of our end.”

Up next for Indians: The Tribe looks to get back in the win column against Kansas City Tuesday night. Right-hander Danny Salazar (6-7, 4.02 ERA) toes the rubber opposite of rookie flame-thrower Yordano Ventura (13-10, 3.19 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

User Comments

Homer
September 24, 2014 - 8:25 AM EDT
The Indians will have to give up talent to get talent back. It's going to hurt to get the deal done they need to make, but I think if this club adds a cpl professional bats and another veteran BP arm we could be looking at a WS contender.
Joe Chengery
September 24, 2014 - 3:53 AM EDT
Homer,

If Lindor had been up here, Ramirez would likely have been at 2B. That's the future middle INF I want to see (no Kipnis at 2B and no trading Ramirez unless it's for a guy like Stanton or someone of that caliber- then I'd consider and perhaps do it. Beltre's not at that level- find another way to acquire Beltre if you want to go that route- I don't want that future middle INF torn up, especially since that essentially means Kipnis remains at 2B- that's as big or even a bigger problem than Chisenhall remaining at 3B, and you have Urshela in the Minors, and he pretty much handled AAA, not to mention he's young, cost-controlled, and known for great defense to replace Chisenhall long-term at 3B).

I do agree on the adjustment period- all young players need adjustment time to adapt no matter their talent level.
Tito gave me a cheetoh
September 24, 2014 - 12:56 AM EDT
Kip has 6 Homers this season and 2 of them (a third of his season total) were in 1 game! H shouldn't be batting anywhere close to the top half of the order.. Hey just flip him with Gomes and problem solved!!! - Tito you have disappointed me during the stretch run. I know its not solely your fault but you haven't exactly put your team in a position to win..
Vic Venom
September 23, 2014 - 11:19 PM EDT
2 things have hurt this offense this season.

1) Putting Kipnis in the middle of the lineup.
2) Starting Santana at 3B to start the season.

Putting Santana at 3B killed his offense earlier in the season, if you notice when he stopped playing 3B, that is when his offense came around.

No reason for Kipnis to be in the middle of the order. Yanny Go Go should of been higher up in the lineup this season. Kipnis is out of shape and is looking like Kevin James playing 2B. If yall want him to play OF, he MUST lose weight!!!!
Joe Chengery
September 23, 2014 - 9:41 PM EDT
I've said this before, including earlier this year when Santana was playing 3B- I wish they would retool Santana's swing where it was quicker through the zone. He takes such a big swing at the ball that by the time his bat meets the ball, the ball is already in on the bat, especially if the ball has any decent velocity. Thus, he gets a lot of weak pop-ups (like last night's) and fly balls.

When Santana was acquired for Blake all those years ago, Santana was expected to hit for average and power, along with great plate discipline. Well, he hits for a solid amount of power and walks a solid amount, but I honestly think his average, power and walk rate would all be better if his stroke was shorter and quicker to the ball- I think he'd avoid those prolonged slumps, which would help his BA, as he was expected to hit higher than .230.

Now, I do think he can hit 250-280 next year because he won't be playing 3B, which I think hampered his offense. However, I think he could be more of a Miguel Cabrera-type all-around hitter if he had a shorter, quicker stroke to the ball- that long swing always made me wonder why they couldn't get him to shorten it up a bit- that's a major reason why I think he hits so many pop-ups.

Of course, the proper approach (I.e. focusing on getting a pitch to drive to the OF and doing it) could have and probably would have made all of the difference in that inning, in that game, and in this game tonight. It all goes back to fundamentals- the Indians say they practice them in Spring Training, but sometimes in key moments, the fundamentals and their execution seem to be lacking, such as was the case with Santana (and to some extent, Gomes) last night. Let's hope those fundamentals get executed better next year and in the years to come.
Joe Chengery
September 23, 2014 - 8:31 PM EDT
Truthfully, Francona's lineups are baffling- Gimenez over Aguilar, Kipnis batting ahead any or all of Gomes, Chisenhall, and Murphy? Why? I've said all year that Kipnis' continued presence in the middle of that order ahead of Gomes and Chisenhall likely cost the Tribe some runs earlier in the season, runs that probably turn some losses into wins, and a few extra wins would be the difference between the Indians being in the driver's seat for a wild card (and a realistic chance of winning the AL Central) and teetering toward being knocked out of it and needing a great amount of help (some of which they are getting, especially from Toronto against Seattle).

Probably the 30 games in 30 days isn't helping- Gomes is striking out more and Ramirez's defense has been slipping a bit. Regardless, though, what is this infatuation with Kipnis in the middle of the order? This is all the more reason I want to keep Ramirez at 2B long term. Maybe moving Kipnis back to the OF (which he played in college) might help his offense be more consistent and impactful, as it hasn't been since June 2013. That's all the more reason I don't want to see Ramirez traded, not even for Beltre- I don't think Beltre's acquisition will that be impactful if Kipnis continues to play an integral part in this lineup and especially while playing at 2B.
yourtribe
September 23, 2014 - 6:31 PM EDT
Gomes is 7th tonight!!!! Questioning titos sanity!!! Kipnis hasn't hit a ball hard in 6 weeks is ahead of him??????? Dumb.
Homer
September 23, 2014 - 5:26 PM EDT
If Lindor was on the team he could have definitely helped the team. Anyone remember a young ACab playing 2b helping the Indians? Lindor is much more talented, but reality is talent aside, there would have been an adjustment period.

The sad thing is the wasted qlty starts either by the blown saves or lack of offense.

Browns fans show up regardless, and they seem to find a way to snag defeat from the jaws of victory week after week.
C L Who
September 23, 2014 - 5:16 PM EDT
That's an interesting idea Shy. Has Gomes ever played 1B?
shy
September 23, 2014 - 4:58 PM EDT
That game was over in the first inning when the Indians had the bases loaded and no outs. Instead of just trying to punch the ball into the outfield Santana tries as always to launch a moonshot on the first pitch he sees and pops the ball up. And God knows why Gomes took a called third strike w the bases loaded and 1 out. Aviles gave the only quaility at bat, and it probably would have changed the game if he had batted ahead of Santana or Gomes. When I saw Gimenez starting at first and Holt in right I thought to myself this does not give you the best chance to win against the Royals. I put Gomes at first and Perez behind the plate to get some more RH pop.
C L Who
September 23, 2014 - 3:59 PM EDT
One guy I think this team really misses right now is Nyjer Morgan. He wasn't up long due to Bourn and then due to injury, but when he was up he played really well, and provided a spark in the lead off position that is missing.

A lot of dissing Holt......but heck, he plays good D and he gets hits.

What folks aren't noting is that Duffy handled even the better players in the lineup pretty easily. That was surprising, given that a few times early on his motion was so violent he nearly fell off the mound.
Seth
September 23, 2014 - 2:12 PM EDT
If Lindor and Moncrief had been called up, we might have seen some different results. Sure could have used Lindor after Walters got hurt and Kipnis couldn't play the field. And Moncrief couldn't have possibly been more useless than Shuck
James
September 23, 2014 - 2:01 PM EDT
Neither Gimenez nor Aguilar can hit and Gimenez is a better fielder, 1st inning aside. That's why you play him. Aguilar has been a butcher in the field. The problem really is the fact that those are your choices.

Shuck is 1 for 21 as an Indian. Literally anyone, even a right hander would have been better. Giambi would have been a better choice. Shuck makes me miss Chris Dickerson.
Walter
September 23, 2014 - 1:29 PM EDT
I would take this 2014 team over any of the Indian teams of the late 60's, 70's or 80's.

2 years ago many fans were tired that the Indians were done by July and wanted change. They wanted the team to be in FA market and wanted a real proven manager not a manager learning on the job.

The Indians got Francona. The Indians got Swisher and Bourn in FA market. Last year team was competitive and many fans excuse of not coming not until they win . They did 90 wins and playoff appearance. This years team has been on roller coaster ride but still competitive and in the playoff hunt. this years excuse there not good enough to follow.

The excuses keeps changing. If I was owner and my fan base stated they would show up if the team was competitive. When you prove that you did do want the fans wanted, and still did not show up. I would consider that the original request was a lie.

I wonder if the Braves resigned Bourn instead signing FA BJ Upton that Wren still would have his GM job today.
Hiram
September 23, 2014 - 12:43 PM EDT
Vic,

where have you been ??
Hiram
September 23, 2014 - 12:43 PM EDT
Guys like Holt and Gimenez shouldn't bin the lineup in games line this. Tito can be doing alot better job of giving guys a chance instead of giving guys like Holt and Gimenez chances when they are what they are. The FO did nothing to try to pickup a hitter in the trading season and this falls on them too.

How the Fans in NEO traat the Indians is embarrassing. LIke I said I think this is a reflection of how the region feels about the ownership. I 'm not saying it's right . I think the Dolans brought this on themselves with admitting to overpaying for the team because they were fans and poor business practices for a 12 year span. I think it's best for all parties that the Dolans sell the team and move on so we can pack the stadium again
Homer
September 23, 2014 - 12:36 PM EDT
Agreed, Marty. No problem seeing Holt out there, I hope he's part of the bench next season, he'd make a good PR and 4/5th OF.
Marty
September 23, 2014 - 12:22 PM EDT
Would've preferred Giambi over Shuck. At least Giambi has a history of late-season magic. And if Tito has no confidence in Aguilar, why didn't they call up Matt Carson when rosters expanded? He had some magic for us last year as well. I had no problem with Holt playing last night.
Tony
September 23, 2014 - 12:21 PM EDT
I have no problem with the lineup Francona put out there other than Gimenez over Aguilar. Gimenez has proven to be a poor hitter at the ML level over time. Aguilar has had minimal opportunities and is expected to still have a possible ML future. If they wanted to play Raburn (who I know is out) over Aguilar, I could get that. He has had more success in his career even in a bad year. But Gimenez is a journeyman who will bounce between teams and between AAA/ML the next few years as a depth fill in guy. He has had like six at bats since August 6th or whatever going into that game last night. There was a ton more upside in playing Aguilar than Gimenez. As for the others in the lineup, that's just what Francona is left with because of injuries. I mentioned it in a comment below, but not many alternatives at this point with Kipnis, Murphy, Swisher and Raburn all out.

That said, the fault does sort of fall on management. A team in contention can't have the likes of Justin Sellers, Chris Gimenez, Jason Giambi, Roberto Perez, Tyler Holt, JB Shuck, and Zach Walters on your roster. Can't. None of those players have a chance to help much and all are just depth and fill in guys. I like Holt but he has no business playing in any games for a team contending and Perez is solid as a backup but has no business as an option to hit in key games. Maybe they should have done a little more to shore up the bench at the deadline and take a shot on a few low cost, low risk bats in the hope that one paid off.
Homer
September 23, 2014 - 12:19 PM EDT
Tony,

I completely agree, the Indians pitching is good enough to win a WS. They HAVE TO add a cpl of professional bats to the lineup.

I've been tentative about the Tribe going for Adrian Beltre, but if the Indians made a WS appearance, I doubt anyone would complain unless Frazier (assuming he'd be part of the deal) becomes the next Trout.
Ross
September 23, 2014 - 12:06 PM EDT
I agree with other persons comments concerning Giminez playing 1b and being in the lineup for a very important game. I think the best option for yesterday's game, with a lefty pitching for KC, would have been for Santana to play 1B as he has for most games during the past 2 months and let R. Perez be the DH.. Since being called up from Columbus, Perez, a RH hitter, has proven that he can hit the baseball.
Canadian Joe
September 23, 2014 - 11:50 AM EDT
And though I hate saying this, Giambi might have been a better option than Schmuck !!!
Bok Choi to sooth my scabby head
September 23, 2014 - 11:20 AM EDT
Good comment Nubballguy..

I think many people feel (I know I do) that Aguilar is a better option than Gimenez period, no matter what the circumstances are.. Injuries have hurt some flexibility that is for sure but I for one second do not believe starting Gimenez at 1B over Aguilar improves your chances of winning a pivotal game. Obviously Francona has ZERO faith in Aguilar, why he won't (can't really) say so it leaves us to ponder what is the deal exactly.
Walter
September 23, 2014 - 10:50 AM EDT
@nubballguy

Awesome analysis!!! It the best comment I have read on this site all year. You really hit the nail on the head.

nubballguy
September 23, 2014 - 10:40 AM EDT
Look, I get emotional posting. The need to have a good cry when things don't go your way. I do get that. But when to you want to talk objectively about things? Too soon? Hopefully you've vented and are willing to at least listen to some reasoned thought:
Look at the options to work with and the circumstances laid out on the table.
First, we have a lefty starting against us and we all know how mightily this team has struggled against lefties yes? OK, so the manager tries to counteract that ineffectiveness by loading up on right handed bats. Makes sense right? Anyone objecting? Shouldn't be.

Next, we get a glimpse behind the curtain and hear that some of our players (beyond those we know, like Kipnis's hamstring) are "banged up." So, it stands to reason that that's why a decision was made to play some and sit others on the field. Lets take that into consideration shall we? Seems logical.

Look at it by position: I'll start with right field: who would you want out there if not Holt? Firstly, we all decry the poor team defense so here we have by far the best defensive option manning the position (with apologies to Shuck since I don't really know just how highly his defensive skills are considered). Certainly better than an infielder converted to a few games in the outfield in Walters and clearly not Shuck who basically, sucks offensively, and is left handed. So Murphy is your other option, though certainly not one we fans have had any great love for this season but now you want him in there over this "bum" Holt? Oh, and add in the new found knowledge that he's injured so thus probably even more limited!
Therefore, a thoughtful analysis brings us to the conclusion that Holt was the best choice BY FAR in right field! And what was the result of that decision? A player that contributed an outstanding defensive play saving a run and providing a base hit in the offensive department! Sure you don't want to see him get picked off but you know he's an aggressive player and, at that point in time, did the team need a spark? Would his decision to go provide some electricity, some juice if successful? THINK about it and you'll understand the decision even it the outcome was disappointing. And I'm not convinced he didn't beat out that relay throw! But regardless of the outcome, the prior DECISION to start him was the correct one! Case closed.
Moving on, 2nd base. Clearly Aviles was the way to go there and with the hate we've showered on Kipnis, I don't think even any of this mournful lot have anything to say about that lineup slot.

So that leaves us with the last, most decried decision made by Francona: Gimenez to start at first, Santana to DH. Lets take a look: Apparently Carlos is amongst those walking wounded to the degree that a decision was made not to play him in the field. Bummer for us but ok, understood. But, because it is such an important game lets get him in the game offensively utilizing him as DH. Fine by me, who else would you consider for that role (I'll get to Aguilar in a moment)? Zach Walters. Are you all with me that while exciting, this kid has fallen back to earth after an electric start with the Tribe and our confidence in him delivering in this high pressure environment has reached a low ebb? Comparatively speaking, Santana as my DH (SINCE HE CAN'T PLAY THE FIELD!) seems like the right choice I'd think you'd all agree. So we know where we are playing Carlos, that leaves ONE position to decide, first base. And our contestants are: Gimenez and Aguilar.
First, while it's not the main point of contention, lets talk defense. Neither are defensive stalwarts at the position is the prevailing wisdom. Would Aguilar made that play off on Hosmer's scorcher? Would Santana? IDK, despite Carrasco's conviction that it should've been made it was no easy flub job but rather a rip down the line. So moving on the main aspect of it, offense, we can see that both Jesus and Chris have offered little at the plate. That said, statistically Gimenez has had more ML success at the plate of the two, has had more recent plate appearances and has more experience in these sorts of environments. Is he a great solution? Hell no! But its not like we are choosing him over someone far better that was somehow overlooked!
Clearly, two things are clear: Tito is all about winning at this point in the season and he has no confidence in Aguilar. Now, some of us may feel like, hey, lets roll the dice! Put Walters and Aguilar out there and maybe somebody will hit something and something good happens! But, if you're trying to win and think that players like that will be eaten alive by a smart, wily and massively effective pitcher like Duffy, then perhaps we understand where a player like Gimenez, by default, gets the start.
Lastly, we can talk about pinch hitting: at least he didn't use Giambi! But seriously, once the Royals turned it over to righties in the late innings didn't it make sense to use the walking wounded as at least swinging options from the left side? Kipnis for Avilies in the 8th? Nobody's been loving Mike Aviles this season so I don't think you can truly complain about switching an underachieving left handed bat for an underachieving right handed bat vs. a right handed pitcher. And in the 9th, back against the wall, I suppose you could've gone with Murphy there first over Shuck for Gimenez but he was used one batter later for Holt and while I happen to like and believe in Holt, I get why you bring up a lefty in Shuck to pinch hit. Again, what other option have you? The dreaded Giambi. Can you imagine the shrieking and gnashing of teeth on this board had he come up to hit? Please.
So, after this long forensic exam I hope we can draw the conclusion that based on the circumstances and options presented to Francona, his decisions are far more logical than we might perceive them to be. Bottom line, we want to win. And when we don't we want to lash out and express our pain. I get that.
Am I missing anything? Please let me know, I like a reasoned discourse.
Canadian Joe
September 23, 2014 - 10:29 AM EDT
Understand your pain Walter. As I live some distance from Cleveland, I do not see the day to day numbers for crowds. I wonder if some of the blame for this rests with ownership and management.The smaller more subtle moves in free agency seem to work out, but any big $$ signings do not. There are now a couple of bad contracts on the books for players that are not producing the desired results. Granted there have been injuries, but all the blame does not fall there. This team has quietly built a good farm system, and all signs are that a strong contending team should be seen for the next several years. These teams are rounded off by astute signings and trades that complement the system. That is the job of ownership and management, and they have fallen woefully short in that regard. This team generated 200 plus consecutive sellouts back in the '90's. No reason they cannot do it again, if a viable finished product is fielded. That is their job !!!!
Scratching my head raw.
September 23, 2014 - 10:23 AM EDT
Tito will never be able to convince me that Gimenez and Shuck are better better options than Aguilar at this point of Aguilar's career. Holt I can sort of get but Aguilar should have started over Gimenez period.
Walter
September 23, 2014 - 10:04 AM EDT
So a last place team in the Twins can draw avg 24,000 against the Indians this past weekend, but we cant put at least that much for the a team that is competing for the playoffs. The Reds tonight will out draw the Indians and they have a team that has scored less runs this year than the Indians and trying to stay out of basement. I bet there are more Indians fans living outside area that care about there team more than in NE Ohio.

Andrew
September 23, 2014 - 9:47 AM EDT
Walter... I disagree with your statement in that it's not that Cleveland isn't a sports town because it is. It will always be a FOOTBALL town first and foremost, no matter how much the Browns stink. And with LeBron back home, I'm willing to bet more people will care about the Cavs than the Indians as well. JMO.
Walter
September 23, 2014 - 9:20 AM EDT
I agree biggest game of the year and Francona plays Gimenez.. Biggest game of the year and only 10,458 fans show up. That is where the real shame is. Cleveland and NE Ohio proved to the rest of country it is no longer a major sports town. Maybe if there was another 10,000 to 15,000 fans in the seats they just maybe scored in the 1st inning with the bases loaded. It kind of would look depressing to the players in the biggest game of the year and only see10,458 show up.

Cleveland can forget about any future FA coming here because the word is being sent out that Cleveland is no longer a legit sports town.
matt underwood
September 23, 2014 - 9:04 AM EDT
posted this in the other other topic but applies here too... just like the Braves front office, when does ours get shaken up? the shaprio era has grown stale - new life is needed
Canadian Joe
September 23, 2014 - 8:47 AM EDT
Though I have been a fan of Tito for many years, this year he has done some things that I don't understand. Last nite was no exception. If Aguilar is such a slug, they should have dealt him long ago. These last 2 years he has put up some pretty impressive numbers, enough to warrant a chance, and he is not getting it. Talk about destroying a guy's confidence. And there were no other options aside from Shuck in the 9th. I know management is not accountable to the fans for these moves, but someone needs to explain to us. This is absurd. It's been tough enough winning this year with the lack of offense. These moves just lessen the chances.
Tony
September 23, 2014 - 8:30 AM EDT
In all fairness, guys like Shuck, Gimenez and Holt got into this game because guys like Kipnis and Murphy are banged up and guys like Swisher and Raburn are done for the year. Granted, those guys have not done much all year....but they would still be a way better option than Shuck, Gimenez and Holt. Francona's options are limited. My only beef is why no Aguilar instead of Gimenez. That sends a loud message that he is not much a part of the future. But anyway, the fault lies on the front office for assembling these plug in options for Tito. They added just Murphy in the offseason. Nothing at the trade deadline. It's all on them to fix this offense in the offseason because this pitching is good enough to win a World Series.
Marco
September 23, 2014 - 8:15 AM EDT
It seems like every time there is a big series at home the team lays an egg in the first game...not the best way to generate any excitement. Tonight will be even less of a crowd. I know all the talk about "meaningful baseball in September"....but come on -- Jimenez at first? Shuck? Aquilar could not be any worse...
vincent
September 23, 2014 - 7:53 AM EDT
tito will like Aquilar better when he is 35 and proven he can not hit
marty
September 23, 2014 - 7:37 AM EDT
Has Aguilar broken both of his legs and I missed it? Gimenez starts and Shuck (1-21) bats in the 9th...
vincent
September 23, 2014 - 7:30 AM EDT
tito is a robot not a manager
Robert
September 23, 2014 - 5:42 AM EDT
Years ago I played in a Labor Day tournament. Our team got to the best of three championship series. We won game one. We started well in the first inning of the 2nd game but with the bases loaded and no outs - we did not score. With that the momentum was gone and we proceeded to lose game 2 and 3. I thought of that in the first inning last night - and yup - the same thing happened. Without scoring in that situation the momentum was gone - and the game and likely the season was gone.

Despite essentially nothing from a third of the payroll we contended into the last week of the season. When we look for the faults of the season - the focus has to be on the money players who basically took the year off in terms of contributing to the team.
troy
September 23, 2014 - 5:00 AM EDT
Bottom line: Poor hitting and defense has killed this team's chances at playoffs all year. Too many times mediocre pitching has dominated our lineup all year. Too many holes in the lineup. Both will be addressed in off season.

Another outstanding performance by Carlos Carrasco. Can't wait to see the numbers he posts next year over a full season in rotation
Norm
September 23, 2014 - 4:48 AM EDT
Hey Vic,

Who in Cleveland really cares? Virtually an empty stadium so the fans got what they expected. Maybe the stadium size needs to be moe like Huntington!
Vic Venom
September 23, 2014 - 3:01 AM EDT
I AGREE with Hiram about Tito. Sick and damn tired of this loyalty stuff with him. Giving players at bats when they dont deserve it and coming out with wack ass lineups.
Vic Venom
September 23, 2014 - 2:59 AM EDT
Biggest game of the year and you give Gimenez at bats, and let him play first base???? SMMFH at TITO!!!!!!

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The 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!

 

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