Second Thoughts: Game #137 Indians 1, Tigers 7
The Line: 7.1 IP, 6H, 4/4 R/ER. 1BB, 6K, 0GIDP, 0HBP
The Results: 96pitches, 60% strikes, 10GB, 8FB, 2PO, 3LD
The Write-up: Ubaldo Jimenez pitched pretty well last night, effectively making two mistakes: a home run on a belt-high fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the 1st and a walk to Austin Jackson in the 8th. The walk to Jackson ended up hurting because a "triple" to Andy Dirks broke the dam. To be honest, I have no idea why Jimenez was still pitching in the 8th, with expanded rosters, a slew of call-up relievers that need to pitch in pressure situations and nothing really at stake, you would think that seven innings of two-run ball would be enough work for the night. Still, he was only at 81 pitches and was cruising.
One thing that always kills me when I watch Ubaldo is how good he can look against individual batters. For instance: Cabrera hammered him his first two AB's: a no-doubt opposite field homer run and then a laser that was right at Ezequiel Carrera in left. However, in his 3rd at bat, a wicked 85mph change-up/splitter made Cabrera miss badly. It was to the degree that Cabrera just smiled and walked back to the dugout: he was overmatched. Cabrera saw an impressive array of pitches and on a 3-2 count; Ubaldo Jimenez overmatched the game's best hitter. Of course, he also gave up a two-run home run and the three at bats pretty much encapsulate exactly what is so appealing and frustrating about Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Line: 0.2IP, 4H, 3/3 R/ER 0BB, 0K
The Results: 23pitches, 52% strikes, 2GB, 2FB, PO, 2LD
The Write-up: Cody Allen looked to limit the damage and almost got Cabrera to keep the game at 3-1, but once the 4th run crossed: the flood gates opened up. Allen is a young pitcher looking to find his footing in the Majors. Having to do so against Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder is a tall order. He has good stuff and should be part of the pen next year, albeit in a lower-leverage role.
The Starting Lineup
The Line: 4/29, 0 2B, 0 HR, 2BB, 0SB, 0CS
The Results: 1R, 4TB, 10LOB, AVG/OBP/SLG 138/193/138
The Write-up: Another lackluster offensive performance. It is tough to score runs when your #6-#9 hitters are all basically automatic outs. The Indians offense is completely devoid of anything that would create excitement among fans or scare a starting pitcher. Due to this, the only way for the Indians to score runs is to string together lots of hits and that is how the only run was scored last night. Kipnis, Santana and Brantley all singled in the 4th inning to plate the Indians lone run. Not much else to write about except for the fact that a lot more nights like this are in store for the Tribe offense in 2012 and beyond.
I first thought that Kotchman probably should have made the play on Dirks' triple, but upon further review it looks like he was sliding away from 1st after holding Jackson and slipped as he planted to dive back to glove the grounder. Little things like that can be all the difference
The game was much closer than the final score indicated. Ubaldo kept the team in the game for seven innings and probably didn't deserve to give up four runs considering how well he pitched, but some nights you pitch well and things go against you. Other nights, you pitch well and your offense doesn't score any runs. Last night, both happened and the Indians couldn't pull off the sweep that would have meant nothing in the standings, but meant a little to the fans starving for something to cheer about.