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Second Thoughts Game #143: Twins 4, Indians 3

Second Thoughts Game #143: Twins 4, Indians 3
Trevor Bauer (Photo: AP)
September 10, 2014
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Trevor Bauer gave up four runs on four consecutive hits in the fourth inning and the Cleveland Indians (74-69) could not find enough offense to recover in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins (62-82) on Tuesday night in front of 9,489 at Progressive Field.

The Good and Bad

Good – Trevor Bauer gave up only four hits over eight innings of work.  He retired ten consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff walk to begin the game.  He followed the four hit outburst by retiring the next nine batters until he hit Kurt Suzuki with a pitch with two outs in the seventh and then retired his final four batters. 

Bad – He gave up four hits in a row in the fourth using just nine pitches, with the final three hits coming on consecutive pitches.  Those three pitches were located up and in the middle of the plate.

Good – Cleveland scored the first two runs of the game in the second inning when Carlos Santana led off with a single to right and Jason Kipnis doubled to the right-center gap to put runners on second and third.  With an opportunity to score two runs without getting another hit, Lonnie Chisenhall grounded to short and Yan Gomes hit a sacrifice fly.

Bad – Cleveland was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  In that same second inning, David Murphy hit a two-out double, but was stranded.  Santana and Kipnis both walked to begin the fourth, but the next three batters made outs without advancing the runners, which was their biggest chance to do some damage.

Good – Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5 with a pair of singles and a double.  He raised his average to .256 after batting just .188 in eight games in September.  Carlos Santana collected two hits and scored two runs. 

Bad – The other seven spots of the batting order collected just four hits in 25 at-bats. 

Good – Indians hitters got themselves in some good hitter’s counts.  There were nine plate appearances where Cleveland hitters had a two ball and no strike count.

Bad – Only two batters reached base in such counts.  Cleveland hitters were held to 1-for-8 with a walk and a single in such counts.

The Really Bad - The Indians once again were held to three runs or less in a game, the fifth straight game that has happened. They have now been held to three runs or less in a game in 14 of their last 18 games and 22 of their last 31 games. For as great as the pitching has been the last month-plus, you are not going to put together very many long streaks when you struggle to score runs and it leaves very little margin for error for the pitchers - as we saw in this game.

Where do they stand?

Detroit defeated Kansas City 4-2, which means that Cleveland remains four games back in the AL Central with 19 games remaining.

There’s still the bottom of the 10th to be played against Kansas City and that will happen on September 22.  Cleveland leads 4-2 and the Royals will have three outs in the bottom of the inning to make up the two run deficit.

Seattle, Detroit and Kansas City are tied for the second wild card (and the division in the case of Detroit and KC).  Toronto is next at 4.5 games back and a half-game in front of Cleveland thanks to a 9-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.  Cleveland is now five games out of the wild card.

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

User Comments

Tony
September 10, 2014 - 11:29 PM EDT
Joe, he no doubt has his quirks but there haven't been any issues that I am aware of. The Indians have maintained both publicly and privately this season that he has been like most other pitchers to deal with.
Canadian Joe
September 10, 2014 - 12:33 PM EDT
Tony, is Bauer still being obstinate with his coaches on training, preparation etc. It just seems strange that he can throw as well as he does, then have a brain cramp (for lack of a better description) for an inning. Aside from the 4th, he threw 7 shutout hitless innings. He has to quit sleeping on his side because all his marbles are falling out !!!
Canadian Joe
September 10, 2014 - 11:26 AM EDT
Good point Tony. Aside from Brantley and Gomes, there has been no consistency in the offense at all.Sorry, some have been consistently bad. Together with the porous defense, this makes it tough to win games, and be a contender. Certainly the pitching cannot be faulted. Finally, I think Tito has to be somewhat accountable as well. His lineups at times, have been real head scratchers. With all these issues, it's a wonder the Tribe has stayed relevant.
Tony
September 10, 2014 - 11:05 AM EDT
With the struggles of the of the offense, is it time to put Van Burkleo on the hot seat? I mean, they even added a second hitting coach and the hitting got worse this year. I know coaches are often just scapegoats and the problems with the offense go well beyond the hitting coach....but you can't fire 5-6 players. Will be interesting if and when there is any heat that develops on Francona's coaching staff.
GSon
September 10, 2014 - 10:58 AM EDT
@Rich... When the opposition scores four runs.I expect five runs to be scored by the tribe.. it doesn't always work out.. but its what to expect..
Rich
September 10, 2014 - 10:48 AM EDT
Three runs or less in 14 of their last 18 games. Shockingly bad offense. No chance for the playoffs unless the offense improves dramatically, which isn't going to happen.

But what do you expect when you have guys like Jason Giambi in the lineup? And minor leaguers like Zach Walters, who couldn't touch a high fastball if his life depended on it?

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