Second Thoughts: Game #125 Yankees 3, Indians 1
Player of the Game: Nick Swisher (3-for-4 with 1 2B 1 HR and 3 RBI)
And then it was nine. The Indians and New York Yankees were locked in a 1-1 battle until the top of the seventh inning Friday night, as former Ohio State Buckeye alum Nick Swisher belted what would be the game-winning two-run homer to put the Yanks up for good, defeating the Tribe 3-1. The loss pushes Cleveland’s losing streak to nine games, as the Tribe is just 11-32 since July 6.
What looked to be on its way to being a blowout loss for the Indians early in the first inning, ended up being a Houdini act by Indians starter Corey Kluber. The rookie right-hander escaped two bases loaded jams in the first two innings, but settled in well giving the Tribe a solid outing going five innings giving up just one run on six hits.
The Bottom 8:
- Nine straight losses. It’s crazy to think that just about a month ago, the Tribe lost their first of what would be 11 straight losses. Now just 30 days later, Cleveland finds themselves on the cusp of another 11 game losing streak with the franchise record for consecutive losses sitting at 12. With two more games against New York before opening up a four-game series against Oakland, things could get worse before they get better for Cleveland.
- LaPorta to nowhere. I know he just was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, but I have already seen enough of Matt LaPorta in the Major Leagues. It almost looks as if he is still barely swinging in the batter’s box, chopping at pitches and putting the ball on the ground instead of hitting the ball in the air. LaPorta’s swing is still too long and just terrible for the one-time top prospect to make any kind of impact in the big leagues. And to think LaPorta was the main piece in the Sabathia trade to Milwaukee four years ago seeing the way the former Indians starter pitched against the Tribe last night just makes me sick as an Indians fan.
- CC Sabathia dominates. Just coming off the disabled list, Sabathia dominated his former ballclub last night, going 7 2/3 innings giving up just one run on four hits, walking one and striking out nine. The big left-hander is now 13-3 for the first place Yankees.
- Offensive struggles. Yes, Sabathia was on his game last night, but the Indians offense had their fair share of struggles as well. Not only did the Tribe go 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, but struck out 11 times on the night, while only walking twice in the ballgame.
- Carrera’s pop out. With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Tribe manager Manny Acta called for Ezequiel Carrera to pinch-hit for Brent Lillibridge. Carrera would not come anywhere close to being clutch, popping out to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. I like the move to bring Carrera into the ballgame, but why not start him in left field over Jason Donald at the start of the game?
- Acta’s lineup. I just don’t know the logic that went behind the Indians lineup last night. Sure, most of the regular hitters were in there but three consecutive pitch hitters in the bottom of the ninth looks kind of bad with the game on the line late. I understand the Indians were facing a tough lefty in Sabathia, but Acta should have found a way to insert at least Carrera and Kotchman before the ninth inning as defensive substitutions. Are we just trying to lose?
- Nothing but Swish. Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher drove in all three New York runs Friday night, going 3-for-4 with a RBI double and two-run home run. He almost hit his second homer of the game in the ninth inning, sending Shin-Soo Choo to the warning track in right field. Maybe it’s just the smell of the Ohio air that gave the Columbus native an extra edge last night. Look for Swisher to continue to have a monster series against Cleveland.
- Allen’s streak ends. All good things must come to an end and for Tribe reliever Cody Allen, this is no different. After starting his big league career throwing 13 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, Allen gave up his first of two earned runs on Swisher’s two-run home run yesterday. His ERA now sits at 1.23 on the season.
The Top Moment
- Cabrera’s solo shot. After being thrown behind by former teammate Sabathia, Asdrubal Cabrera got the last laugh belting a solo home run on the very next pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cabrera was not done, as he did his best Rickey Henderson-esque stutter-step rounding third as he jogged around the bases. It was the Indians shortstop’s 14th homer of the season.
With yet another Tribe and Minnesota Twins loss on Friday, Cleveland (54-71) still remains just three games out of last place in the Central Division. The Tribe has now dropped 22 of their last 26 games and is just 7-27 since July 19.
Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will try and avoid losing ten straight for the second time this season on Saturday, as it will be Justin Masterson (9-11, 4.73 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (12-8, 2.96 ERA) at 7:05 pm. The Yankees right hander defeated the Tribe once already this year back on June 25, where Kuroda went seven strong innings giving up just one earned run on five hits. Masterson last faced New York on June 26, when he gave up four runs on seven hits over six innings picking up the loss.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.