Second Thoughts: Game #146 Tigers 5, Indians 3
|W: Sanchez (3-5) L: J. Masterson (11-14) S: J. Valverde (31)
Player of the Game: Anibal Sanchez (6 2/3 innings 3 hits 2 ER 0 BB 7 SO)
History was almost made at Progressive Field on Saturday afternoon. No, it did not involve any Indians starter or player, but rather the team’s lack of offense. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was dominant all game on Saturday, taking a no-hitter to the bottom of the seventh inning and defeating the Indians 5-3.
Tribe starter Justin Masterson would yield just two earned runs in the ballgame, but could not escape the fifth inning as he would walk four in the ballgame for his 14th loss of the season.
The Bottom 7.
- Tribe offense hitless until seventh. It wasn’t until there were two outs in bottom of the seventh inning that the Indians would collect their first hit against Sanchez. The Indians would rally and score three runs over the final three frames, but the damage was done as Sanchez pitched arguably his best game since being traded to Detroit.
- Sanchez’s almost near no-no. Anibal Sanchez? Really? Don't get me wrong, he has thrown a No-hitter in his career when he was with the Marlins, but we are talking about a guy with a 4.40 ERA and a pitching record below the .500 mark. The right-hander finished the season 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA against Cleveland and their consistent struggling offense. He's 3-5 with that 4.40 ERA overall. Says a lot, doesn't it.
- Master of what? In picking up the loss on Saturday, Masterson now has 14 losses this season, giving him the second most on the Tribe, and tying him for second most in all of Major League Baseball. It’s amazing to think that Masterson finished the 2011 season with a 3.21 ERA, as his ERA may hit 5.00 by the end of the year, as it's now sitting at 4.93. There’s no question the Indians right-hander can’t wait for the season to finally be over, as does every Cleveland sports fan.
- Scoring three runs or less...again. Scoring three runs yesterday, the Indians offense have now recorded three runs or less in nine of their last 13 games and in 19 of their last 26 ballgames as well. Not too much else you could say about that.
- Three errors. The Tribe recorded three errors in the ballgame, two on throwing errors (one by Asdrubal Cabrera and the other by Lou Marson) as well as a fielding error by Lonnie Chisenhall. As bad as the Indians are, giving free runs to the opposition does not help. For Cabrera, it was his 18th error of the season…yikes.
- Lowest point of the season? Sure there have been many low points this season, but this loss against Detroit puts Cleveland a season-high 26 games below the .500 mark. Not only that, but the Indians were also officially eliminated from the playoffs yesterday as well.
- Progressive Field or Comerica Park? Indians fans who have never been to Comerica Park in Detroit got a little taste of it on Saturday. The attendance for yesterday’s ballgame was 22,849 where I would say about 15,000 of them were Tigers fans.
The Top 3
- Carlos Santana breaking up the no-hitter. It didn’t come until there were two outs in the seventh inning, but Carlos Santana would give the Indians their biggest hit of the game, lacing a triple off the wall in center field. Yes, the Tribe would still lose, but it was nice to see the team not go down without some fight.
- Allen mows ‘em down. Relieving for Tony Sipp in the top of the seventh inning, rookie Cody Allen struck out all five Tigers batters he would face. Allen now has recorded 23 strikeouts over his first 24 1/3 innings pitched in the big leagues.
- Akron wins Eastern League Championship! For the second time in the last four years and for the fourth time since 2003, the Double-A Akron Aeros have won the Eastern League Championship. Congrats to Manager Chris Tremie and all the Aeros players for an exciting season!
With both the Tribe and Minnesota losers again on Saturday, Cleveland (60-86) remains tied with the Twins for last place in the American League Central.
Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will try and avoid not only being swept by Detroit, but steer clear of losing eight of their last nine ballgames on Sunday, as it will be Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.52 ERA) against Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.59 ERA) at 3:05 p.m. Jimenez has faced the Tigers five times this season, owning a record of 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA. If the Indians right-hander loses, he will become the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to record 17 losses this season. Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts against the Wahoo’s in 2012. Santana has owned the Tigers starter in his career going 6-for-16 (.375) with three home runs and four RBI.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.