Second Thoughts: Game #103 - Indians 3, Royals 8
|W: L. Hochevar (7-9) L: D. Lowe (8-10)|
The biggest news of the day was that there was no (major) news. The Indians decided not to trade any of their core pieces such as Choo, Perez or Masterson as the non-wavier trading deadline passed without any significant moves announced by the Indians. The team was able to acquire Lars Anderson from the Red Sox for Akron Aeros knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright. Anderson will report to Columbus upon his arrival. Later in the night, the Indians played an ugly game, in which Derek Lowe was torched once again. He let up 7 runs and 8 hits over 2.1 innings. The offense struck early and often, but then disappeared after the third inning. The Indians dropped to 6 games behind first place in the AL Central. They are 0-4 on the current road trip.
Bottom 1st: Lorenzo Cain singled to center, scoring Alex Gordon
Top 2nd: Johnny Damon singled to first, scoring Michael Brantley
Top 2nd: Casey Kotchman singled to right, scoring Carlos Santana
Bottom 2nd: Alcides Escobar singled to right, scoring Chris Getz and Jarrod Dyson
Top 3rd: Asdrubal Cabrera scored on wild pitch by Hochevar
Bottom 3rd: Billy Butler scored on balk by Derek Lowe
Bottom 3rd: Chris Getz doubled to right, scoring Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer
Bottom 3rd: Alex Gordon doubled to right, scoring Alex Gordon
Bottom 3rd: Alcides Escobar tripled to right, scoring Alex Gordon
Michael Brantley: Brantley went 2-for-4 last night with a single and a double. Although he grounded into two double plays, he hit the ball hard on the night. He also made a very nice catch in center showing his continued improvement as an outfielder. Brantley, along with Kipnis, Santana and Pestano are the core this team needs to surround with other young talent. Its amazing to think that Brantley was the “player to be named” in the CC Sabathia deal in 2008 as if it weren’t for him the Indians would not have received anything for the 2007 Cy Young Winner.
Bullpen: The bullpen was a lone bright spot in what was an ugly game. Tomlin, Accardo and Smith only let up one run over 5.2 innings pitched. Smith was able to escape a jam in the 8th inning with a few quality pitches. It is a good sign to see Accardo bounce back from a poor outing Friday night. If he continues to pitch well, hopefully he can provide stability to the long-relief position, which has been a revolving door thus far for the Indians (although he could be the odd man out with Tomlin in the bullpen now).
Leadoff: It is hard to find three bright spots in such a poor game for the Tribe, but that said, the Indians were able to get their leadoff man aboard in three innings. They scored runs in two of those three innings.
Derek Lowe: I think we have all seen enough of Lowe this season, and quite frankly, forever. There is no need for a 39-year old pitcher that has allowed 20 Earned Runs in his last three starts. The Indians announced after the game that Corey Kluber will get the nod Thursday, a game that Tomlin was originally scheduled to start, and said that Tomlin would move to the bullpen for the time being. Lowe is currently scheduled to start on Sunday vs. the Tigers. It will be interesting to see whether the Indians send him out for such an important game in their season or move on from him and put Tomlin back in the rotation or call up another arm from Columbus.
Strikeouts: Indian hitters had nine strikeouts in the game. Royals’ starting pitcher Luke Hochevar came into the game with 83 punch-outs on the season, so it was disappointing to see Indians’ hitters swing and miss so frequently against a pitcher with a 5.22 ERA. Shin-Soo Choo, the center of trade rumors over the last few days, had one of his worst offensive games of the season going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. This may have been the result of recent speculation and uncertainty surrounding Choo’s future with the team. Choo is hitting .206 (7-for-34) with 3 RBIs in his last 10 games, so hopefully he can get going again now that it is certain that he will be in Cleveland for the rest of the season.
Jack Hannahan: How much does Chisenhall’s injury hurt now? Hannahan is having a similar trajectory to last season. His hot April has worn off and it seems as though he is now lost at the plate as he is hitting .143 and .204 in June and July, respectively. He is a career .232 hitter, so we can’t expect much more from him at this point. While his glove continues to shine at the hot corner, it may be time to give other players like Lopez more at-bats at third base for help offensively.
The Royals host the Indians tonight in the second game of this three game series. Zach McAllister, the Indians’ best pitcher of late, will oppose Luis Medoza for the Royals. The game starts at 8:10 ET.
Will Biggar is a senior at Colgate University. You can reach him on twitter @will_biggar or firstname.lastname@example.org