Second Thoughts: Game #123 Mariners 5, Indians 1
Player of the Game: Felix Hernandez (7 2/3 innings 7 hits 1 ER 1 BB 5 SO)
The King rose again on Tuesday night as Felix Hernandez pitched another gem coming off his Perfect Game performance against the Tampa Bay Rays last week. Amongst a sea of yellow shirts honoring the Cy Young candidate, Hernandez held Tribe hitters to just one run over 7 2/3 innings for his 12th victory of the season.
Tribe starter Roberto Hernandez actually out-dueled his counterpart for the majority of the game, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning retiring 13 of the first 14 batters in the ballgame before yielding a solo home run to Eric Thames. Hernandez is now 0-2 since rejoining the Tribe.
The Bottom 9
- Losing streak continues. After losing 11 straight games already this season, the Indians find themselves on a seven game losing streak just two weeks later. Over the seven game stretch the Tribe has given up no less than five runs in a ballgame and have been outscored 48-23.
- Offensive struggles continue as well. Not that it was expected for the Indians to score many runs off Hernandez, but Cleveland did defeat the right-hander earlier this season back on May 16 where the Indians scored six runs over 3 2/3 innings off him. On Tuesday night, King Felix returned the favor once again. The Tribe has now scored just four runs over their last three games.
- Not getting to Felix early. It was nice to see Jason Kipnis leading off the game with a base-hit to take away any attempt by Hernandez to throw another Perfect Game or no-hitter. What was not nice to see was the Tribe throw away an early chance to take the lead in the first inning after Carlos Santana grounded into an inning-ending double play with two men on base. The game could have been much different all around if Cleveland scores just one run there.
- Suicide squeeze attempt. With Seattle up 1-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Tribe manager Manny Acta called for the suicide squeeze attempt with Brent Lillibridge at the plate and the tying run Michael Brantley on third. The attempt failed as Lillibridge could not make contact and Brantley was thrown out at home. While I would have called for the play in the situation as well, there’s no question it could have been better executed by the Indians super utility man.
- Another road loss. Are the hotel beds really that bad on the road? For the Indians one may certainly think so as Cleveland has now lost 17 of their last 18 away games. And we thought it was only left-handed starters that were causing the Indians problems this year.
- Struggles with RISP. The Tribe went just 1-for-7 last night with runners in scoring position. For a team like the Indians facing an All-Star and Cy Young candidate like King Felix, this is just unacceptable.
- Bottom third of the order. Lillibridge, Jack Hannahan and Ezequiel Carrera went a combined 0-for-9 last night with four strikeouts. Not that the bottom of the order helps win every ballgame, but for a team like the Indians who continue to struggle scoring runs, they need some production out of the most spots in the lineup as possible in order to have any shot at victory.
- Tomlin out until 2014. Dealing with right elbow injuries for the past couple seasons, it was made official on Tuesday that Tribe starter Josh Tomlin will need Tommy John surgery and will be out realistically until the 2014 season. This is yet another huge blow for the Indians as it was just last year that Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco underwent the procedure as well.
- Grady out for the season. Not that it matters too much for the Indians and where they are at in the Central Division standings, but Grady Sizemore has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2012 season. What many Tribe fans thought was a bad move by ownership to bring the injury plagued Sizemore back this offseason turned into reality as the centerfielder what looks like his last game as an Indian. Yep, $5 million to be injured and not play a single game this year. Wow.
The Top 3
- Solid start by Hernandez. His pitching line may not jump out to fans, but the bottom line is that Roberto Hernandez gave the Indians a chance to win Tuesday. The right-hander gave up just three hits but four earned runs over six innings, walking and striking out two.
- Top of the lineup. Unlike the bottom third of the order, the Indians 1-thru-6 hitters went a combined to go 8-for-24 (.333) as Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Casey Kotchman had multiple hits in the ballgame.
- There’s no place like home. After today’s series finale game against Seattle, the Tribe will embark home to Progressive Field for a 10-game homestand. Surprisingly, the Indians are a game above the .500 mark at home sitting at 30-29 on the season.
With yet another Tribe and Minnesota Twins loss on Tuesday, Cleveland (54-69) remains just 2.5 games out of last place in the Central Division. The Indians have now lost their last 18 road games not started by Justin Masterson.
Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will try and salvage the three-game series on Wednesday, as it will be Zach McAllister (5-4, 3.64 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (4-3, 3.79 ERA) at 3:40 pm. In his last start against Seattle back on May 17, McAllister gave up just three runs on three hits over 5 2/3 innings picking up a no decision. Iwakuma last faced the Indians as a reliever on May 16, when he went four innings giving up just one run on three hits.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
this seems very possible
hopefully it happens and everyone gets fired