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Second Thoughts: Game #105 - Indians 6, Royals 7

Second Thoughts: Game #105 - Indians 6, Royals 7
Corey Kluber (Photo: Lianna Holub)
August 3, 2012
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Pre-game Notes:

The Indians went into Thursday night’s game on a five-game losing streak.  They haven’t been scoring runs, they haven’t been pitching well and as a result, they haven’t been even close to winning any games.  Finally some changes are being made as Corey Kluber was called up from Triple-A to take Josh Tomlin’s rotation spot and Derek Lowe was DFA’d. Kluber was having a very solid year at Triple-A, going 11-7 with a 3.59 ERA, and winning 7 of his last 9 starts. Bruce Chen got the start for the Royals.  He of course is left-handed, so the Indians will have to overcome the percentages to avoid the sweep.

Scoring Summary

-Kluber’s first pitch was drilled to right-center by Alex Gordon.  Royals 1, Indians 0

- Alcides Escobar singles, steals second and then is driven in by a single from Lorenzo Cain. Royals lead 2-0.

- Three-run homerun by Eric Hosmer. Royals lead 5-0.

- Chris Getz triples, Jarrod Dyson singles driving in Getz, 6-0 Royals.

- Lead-off double by Brantley, Jose Lopez moves the runner over and Vinny Rottino scores Brantley with a sacrifice fly, Royals lead 6-1.

- Carlos Santana bloops a bases loaded, 2-run single, Royals 6, Indians 3.

- Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly scores Asdrubal Cabrera, cutting the lead to 6-4.

- Brent Lillibridge gets aboard and Carlos Santana homers, game tied at six.

- In the bottom of the 11th Alcides Escobar slapped a ball between third and short, scoring Eric Hosmer. Royals win 7-6.

Starting Pitching

Corey Kluber: 4 1/3 IP, 6 R, 9 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 HRA

-          An ugly, ugly first inning from Kluber.  Gordon hits the first pitch out, Hosmer’s three-run homer, the Royals bat around.  Too many pitches right down the middle and too many getting drilled. It was an ugly thing to watch.

-          Nice bounce back inning in the second, Kluber featured his breaking ball more and worked a 1-2-3 inning.

-          Kluber really recovered nicely after an absolutely horrendous first inning. He could have easily melted down after giving up six runs in the first, but he got himself under control, righted the ship and the Indians offense got the Tribe back into the game. He was much more effective when he mixed in his offspeed pitches and used his cutter more. In the first inning he seemed to keep going back to his fastball and the Royals were crushing it.

Offense

-          I understand the need to shake things up, I like Choo stealing second but stealing third with Cabrera up was really pushing things . . . and of course Choo was thrown out and Cabrera singled on the next pitch.

-          Patient approach during the fourth inning.  Guys taking pitches, not trying to do too much and just keeping the train moving.  This is the approach that makes this offense successful.

-          4 RBIs for Carlos Santana.  A very strong showing at the plate for Santana.  He was the offense last night, reminding everyone that he can almost single-handedly power this offense when he is right.

Defense

-          The track meet continues.  I agree with Manny Acta when he says guys don’t steal on catchers at this level.  I know Corey Kluber had other things to worry about when he was getting Klubered in the first inning but he wasn’t even looking at the base runners at times.

-          Great heads-up play by Lou Marson in the fourth to throw down to second on the double steal.  Marson had no chance to get Jarrod Dyson but had Gordon easily and prevented Dyson from scoring in the process.

Bullpen

Tony Sipp: 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Joe Smith: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Vinnie Pestano:  2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB                                        

Esmil Rogers: 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 K, 1 BB

Chris Perez: 1 batter faced, 1 hit

-          Long night for the bullpen with Kluber only going 4 1/3 innings and they were up to the task for the most part.  Sipp, Smith and Pestano were outstanding, Esmil Rogers found some trouble in the 10th but wiggled free and then found some more in the 11th.

-          With runners on the corners and two down Rogers was lifted in favor of Chris Perez.  Perez quickly got ahead 0-2 on back-to-back breaking balls but then Alcides Escobar slapped a single between 3rd and short.

The Wrap:

The frustration continues for the Tribe, after a disastrous start from Kluber, he settled in and the offense came to life and got the Indians back in the game.  Unfortunately the offense sputtered to a stop and the bullpen couldn’t hold on long enough for this lineup to piece together another run.  All in all, another disappointing day Tribe fans.

 

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