Second Thoughts Game #144: Royals 6, Indians 3
Pitching struggles and twin killers allow Royals to even series
Not so E-Z-Mac
As good as the starting pitching has been in the second half, Zach McAllister has not been able to join the party as much as he or the Indians would like. In 10 starts since returning from the disabled list, the right-hander has gone 3-4 with a 4.96 ERA. Unfortunately, Tuesday was more of the same story as McAllister allowed four runs in five innings. He was cruising along fine allowing only a run three hits through the first five innings before things spiraled out of control in the sixth where the Royals plated three runs.
With Masterson injured, it’s crucial that everyone else in the rotation step up. Ubaldo Jimenez, Corey Kluber and the others have done so, but McAllister has called his own effectiveness into question as a starter, which is the last thing the Tribe needs during their playoff push. Weak schedule or not, the Indians need everyone on top of their game as much as possible during the final stretch.
Aside from the pitching giving up six runs, the offense didn’t provide much help as they killed potential rallies by grounding into three double plays on the night. Overall, the Tribe went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Not the worst we’ve seen, but still wasted opportunities that could have made a difference in the game. It’s getting to the point where those mistakes and missed chances will loom large.
The loss doesn’t take the Tribe out of the race, but eventually, not executing on a consistent basis will catch up with the team and possibly be the difference between them making the postseason or not. Of course, the minimum expected from the Tribe at this point is winning series, so a win on Wednesday would be mission accomplished. Just have to keep grinding.
- Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall recorded his first three-hit game since June 27th against Baltimore. They are his only two such games this season.
- Zach McAllister is now 0-2 with a 9.43 ERA over his last three starts. Of the three starts, Tuesday night was the only one where he pitched at least five innings.
- Michael Brantley recorded his 60th RBI of the season on Tuesday night matching a career high for the outfielder.
Up Next: Royals vs. Indians @ Progressive Field. 12:05pm first pitch.
Scott Kazmir will match up against Royals ace James Shields in the rubber match of this three game series. Shields has pitched well for the Royals this season, but has a 4.96 ERA against the Tribe this season. However, all three starts against them have ended in no-decisions. Kazmir, on the other hand, has had a bit more success against Kansas City going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts.
Thanks to losses by the Rays and Orioles on Tuesday night, the Indians maintained their tie with Baltimore and stay a game and a half behind Tampa Bay for the wild card. No harm done, but it makes this final game all the more vital, as is each successive game leading up to the season finale during this playoff push.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.