Second Thoughts: Game #115 - Red Sox 14, Indians 1
|W: J. Lester (6-10) L: C. Kluber (0-1)|
Sunday was the final game of four with the Red Sox, and getaway day. The Indians had a chance to win the long series, but getting away from this one probably couldn't happen soon enough after the way it played out.
- Carlos Santana has far and away been the Indians' best hitter since the All-Star break. On Sunday, he was literally the entire offense. A sacrifice fly off his bat in the bottom of the first accounted for the team's only run of the game. He also singled and walked. The run batted in was his 23rd in 30 second-half games (he had 30 in his first 69 games), and he has a four-digit OPS (.675 prior). A turnaround was bound to happen, and it arrived with the second half. He is one of the better hitters in the league, and a poor half doesn't change that.
- Cody Allen came into this game not yet allowing a run in his short Major League life, and he left it the same way. He threw an inning, extending the scoreless innings streak to 11.1. The hit he allowed was just his third, and he erased the runner by inducing a double play. He does have seven walks, but opponents have been unable to capitalize on that thus far. It looks like he still thinks he's pitching in the Carolina League out there, and, well, he really just was.
- Ezequiel Carrera continues to provide something of a spark to the lineup, doubling and drawing his first walk of the season. He is now 11-for-28 in ten games this season, with four extra-base hits, three runs batted in and two stolen bases. He should continue to get plenty of playing time down the stretch, and assuming left field is addressed in the winter, he makes a perfect fourth outfielder candidate in 2013. This team needs all the speed it can get.
- Corey Kluber has had all kinds of first-inning woes so far this season, allowing all seven of his runs in two of them coming into Sunday's game. That continued yesterday and the first-inning woes turned into second-inning woes. An awful 0-2 pitch to Adrian Gonzalez resulted in a two-run home run that capped a three-run first, and he got knocked around in the second, too. Everything was up for him. He often had control issues in the minors, but on this level, it has been more about his command and stuff. Major League hitters don't miss mistakes and aren't going to let fringy stuff beat them.
- For as good as Shin-Soo Choo has been this season, he is still miserable against left-handed pitching. He struck out in both of his at-bats against Jon Lester (before being taken out because of the score), one of which came with runners on first and third and no one out. On the season, he has struck out 43 times in 146 at-bats against southpaws, and has an OPS barely above .600 (.960 against right-handers).
- Josh Tomlin spelled Kluber and provided absolutely no relief. The Indians obviously could have used a few innings from him after Kluber's short start, but Tomlin fared even worse. He only recorded four outs, while being charged with seven runs. As is often the case with him, he just threw too many hittable strikes. Because of his lack of swing-and-miss stuff, if he is not painting the corners it's batting practice.
- 14 of the offense's 27 outs came as a result of strike three. With the exception of Jack Hannahan, every starter struck out at least once. The Indians are in the bottom five of baseball in strikeouts, but that would have been difficult to determine from this showing.
- After an eight-run fifth inning that stretched Boston's lead to 13, Manny Acta made a number of changes. One of them was moving Santana from first base to... left field? It was almost certainly just one of those moves made in a blowout that means nothing, but it probably would have been less surprising if he was asked to pitch. He had two total chances, and made both routine plays. The first was an ugly 10-foot backpeddle to get under the ball, but he did his new job well enough.
- Jose Lopez cleared waivers and was given his outright release. He rounds out the group of designated veterans (Jeremy Accardo, Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe), all of whom went unclaimed.
Up next: A true west coast road trip. The Indians will visit Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle for three games each over the next 10 days.
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That said, I expect Goedert to take LaPorta's spot on the 40-man this offseason and Fedroff to take Neal's or Rottino's.