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Second Thoughts Game #117: Angels 7, Indians 2

Four errors and lack of offense lead to sixth straight Tribe loss

Second Thoughts Game #117: Angels 7, Indians 2
August 11, 2013
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Player of the Game: C.J. Wilson (5 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB / 6 SO)

The Leadoff

And they're free...free fallin'.

Two runs and a season-high four errors would be all the struggling Tribe put across Saturday against Los Angeles, as they fell to their sixth straight loss, 7-2.

Angles southpaw C.J. Wilson (12-6, 3.49 ERA) easily shutdown the struggling Indians offense, surrendering two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings of work. He improves to 8-1 with a 2.89 ERA over his last 11 starts.

After having won 10 of 11 ballgames two weeks ago, Cleveland falls to their sixth straight loss as they continue to free fall in the standings.

Runners in scoring position

It was another slow night offensively for the Tribe as they not only failed to score more than three runs, but went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Indians also failed to get their leadoff man on in eight of the nine innings Saturday.

Hard to blame starting pitching when your starter gives you a quality outing, as the team continues to leave runners out on the bases in key situations. Over their six game losing streak, Cleveland has hit a dismal .180 (9-for-50) with runners in scoring position.

Absolutely unacceptable.

As easy as it is to say one hit here or two hits there would make it a completely different ballgame, the statement itself is more than accurate to describe this team of late.

I'm really starting to believe what outfielder Ryan Raburn said after signing his contract extension with the Indians earlier this week. Raburn said that if the Tribe can pick up a few more pieces, things could get really interesting for the ballclub. Honestly, he must have stressed that statement three or four times in the press conference, and by looking at not only the team over their last six games but over the course of the season as well, he's right.

Error Town

Defense, defense and some more defense...or lack thereof of course.

What is going on at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario in terms of defensive miscues?

The Tribe committed a season-high four errors Saturday night, as three of the four blunders came on throwing errors, moving them fourth in the American League in terms of team errors on the season.

As bad as it is when a team can't score, it makes it almost twice as tough when committing errors in a game. And the Indians don't just make those small errors, they take it to another level as the opposition always seems to take advantage of their defensive woes.

The team single handedly handed the game away in the eighth on back-to-back errors by Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis opened the flood gates for L.A. to put up a four spot in the inning.

Cleveland falls to 19-34 when committing one or more errors in a ballgame.

Can't win if you can't score

Someone get me a bat.

Remember all that talk about the Indians and their ability to hit in the clutch especially with two outs this season? Well, that has quickly gone to the wayside of late.

For the seventh time in their last nine ballgames, Cleveland failed to score more than three runs in a game. Two runs on seven hits was all the team could muster up for the second consecutive game with the Angles.

Outscored 37-15 over their last six game losing streak, the Indians have scored less than three runs in five of the last six. If that wasn't bad enough, Cleveland is now just 12-39 on the season when scoring three runs or less in a game.

When they score four runs or more, they are 50-16.

Jimenez tough-luck quality start

Despite getting handed his seventh loss of the season, Jimenez gave the Tribe a quality effort going 6 1/3 innings and yielding just two runs on five hits. No, his throwing error in the fifth inning didn't help, but that was one the right-hander should have won in a perfect world.

Having dropped to 0-3 over his last four starts, Jimenez has given up three runs or less over those same four starts owning a 2.25 ERA. Say what you will about him, he didn't toss his usual five innings Saturday but gave the Indians a chance to win in a quality effort and that's all you can ask from him.

Closing Time

With another loss, Cleveland (62-55) falls to a season-high eight games in back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the A.L. Central. It also puts them four games behind Oakland for one of the two wild card spots.

Up next for the Indians: The Tribe will look to salvage both the series and home stand Sunday as ace Justin Masterson (13-8, 3.46 ERA) takes the hill against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (5-8, 4.77 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. Masty is an undefeated 3-0 lifetime against Los Angeles.

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

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