Second Thoughts: Game #129 A's 7, Indians 0
This was a sloppy game for the Indians. They were only charged with two errors; however, there could have been as many as four in my opinion. Other than a few pitches he left over the plate, Zach McAllister pitched fairly well. The offense was unable to give him any support as they were shut out for the second time in as many days.
Top 2nd: Brandon Moss singled to left, scoring Seth Smith
Top 2nd: Adam Rosales singled to left, scoring Chris Carter
Top 3rd: Brandon Moss homered to center, Seth Smith scored
Top 5th: Chris Carter homered to right center
Top 9th: Chris Carter doubled to left, Josh Reddick scored
Top 9th: Seth Smith scored on wild pitch by Joe Smith
Z-Mac: When looking at McAllister’s line from the night, it might look as though he did not pitch very well. He made a couple mistakes, but overall he actually pitched a solid game. He struck out eight hitters with a strong fastball. McAllister also produced 17 swinging strikes, which is a staggering number. McAllister looks like he will be able to provide stability to the back end of the rotation next season.
Carlos Santana: Santana went 2-for-3 with two singles and has had a much better second half, hitting .275 with a .507 Slugging percentage. It is extremely encouraging to see Santana hit for a better average than his .221 clip in the first half. Santana may never be a 35 homer type of guy, but I believe he can hit close to .300 if he continues to cut down on his strike outs.
Strikeouts: The Indian pitchers produced 16 strikeouts last night. McAllister has proven that he has the ability to make hitters swing and miss, and Esmil Rogers - a bright spot for the Indians this season - struck out four in two innings of work. For the season, he has struck out 37 and walked 8 in 37.1 innings.
Shelley Duncan: Although Duncan did get a hit Tuesday night, I still don’t understand why he continues to receive at-bats for this team as it is clear that he does not add any long-term value to the organization. Last night he allowed two hits that a more athletic outfielder could have made, and he is also only hitting .157 since the All-Star break. There is no reason why he should be getting playing time ahead of Matt LaPorta. Even though LaPorta has struggled since coming up from AAA, I would like to see him receive regular at-bats in an extended audition for next season.
Offense: Tuesday night represented the ninth straight game in which the Indians have scored 3 runs or less. On the season, the Indians have the second worst run differential in the majors at -141. This season has been a struggle for both the offense and the pitching staff. There will be a serious roster evaluation following the season and I’m sure September will provide ample opportunity for tryouts as the rosters expand to 40.
Clutch Hitting: The Indians went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position (RISP) last night. This has been a problem for the Indians the whole second half and in their last five games they are hitting a combined .056 (2-for-36) with RISP. That is a startling statistic.
The Indians face the Athletics again in the third of four games in the series Wednesday night at 7:05 EST. Corey Kluber (0-2, 5.32) will face Travis Blackley (4-3, 3.83)
Will Biggar is a senior at Colgate University. You can reach him on twitter @will_biggar or firstname.lastname@example.org
LaPorta is receiving his last chance, he knows it, and he made a terrible defensive play, tonight, because he is so tense.
It's tough for gray-haired, middle-aged men to accept the end of their careers, the death of their dreams.
It's tougher for a young man in his 20's.
I hope some of these young men respond with a big September and resurrect their ambitions.