Second Thoughts Game #48: Indians 4, Red Sox 7
Tribe blows one-run lead late as Pestano is handed the loss
Player of the Game: Pedro Ciriaco (3-for-4 with a double and RBI)
Saturday was just one of those days.
On yet another rainy day in historical Fenway Park, the Indians fell late and lost their second game of the four-game series to the Red Sox, 7-4. Recently winning 18 of their last 22 ballgames, the Tribe is now 1-4 in their last five games and just 1-5 in six games against Boston this season.
The Bottom 9
- Giving the game away late. Up 4-3 in the eighth inning, the wheels completely fell off the Tribe and setup man Vinnie Pestano. Scoring three runs on seven hits in the seven innings prior, Boston scored four runs on four hits in the eighth to secure the victory.
- What’s wrong with Vinnie? There’s no way to sugarcoat it…Pestano had his worst outing as an Indian on Saturday. The right-handed setup man had no velocity and threw balls right down the middle of the plate. Since coming off the 15-Day DL, Pestano gave up just one run in three innings prior to his meltdown in Boston. Topping out his four-seam fastball between 89 and 90 MPH, it could mean that the Tribe right-hander hasn’t built enough strength back up after his recent trip to the disabled list. Whatever the problem may be, Pestano and the team better find out fast.
- Errors. It doesn’t show up in the box score, but five of the Red Sox seven runs in Saturday came on a balk, some errors and routine plays the Tribe should’ve made defensively. Putting up two errors in the game, the more costly of the two came late in the ballgame.
- Cabrera’s play. In what should’ve been an inning-ending pop up to short ended up turning into a complete disaster for both shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and the Indians hopes of a comeback. With two outs and runners on second and third, Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava hit a pop up to Cabrera only for the shortstop to never come close to catching the ball as the wind played a factor throughout the contest. Wind or no wind, that ball absolutely should have been caught and changed what would’ve been a one-run game into a three-run game late.
- No lead is safe? For the second time in the last five games, Cleveland would score first only to surrender the lead and the game shortly thereafter. This wasn’t a problem earlier this season, as the Tribe owned a record of 19-3 when scoring the game’s first run. Over their last three games though, the Indians are just 1-2 when getting on the board first in a ballgame.
- Raburn in right field. Leading by two runs in the fourth inning, the game quickly turned into a one-run game after right fielder Ryan Raburn dove but couldn’t come up with the catch on a double by Boston shortstopJose Iglesias. Maybe it was just me, but why was Raburn starting in right field anyway? With the field conditions not in the best of shape already, I would’ve put the best Tribe outfield out their defensively featuring Michael Brantely, Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs.
- Bourn not starting? I know Lester is one of the best lefties in the game, but I don’t understand why Bourn wasn’t in the starting lineup on Saturday. The Tribe center fielder is arguably the best Indians hitter to date, and has hit left-handers (.353) better than right-handers (.284) this season. I understand why Indians manager Terry Francona would want to sit Kipnis, but Bourn not so much. This was one of the team’s top free agent signings this winter and one of Cleveland’s most consistent hitters to date. Bourn just brings a different feel to the game both offensively and defensively, and absolutely should be in the lineup every single day.
- Blown call. Up 2-1 in the third inning, Nick Swisher delivered on what looked to be another RBI hit for the first baseman only for Cabrera to be thrown out at the plate on the play. Yes, the throw by Red Sox left fielderJonny Gomes was great, but what was not great was the position of Home Plate umpire Ron Kulpa. Standing directly behind Red Sox catcher David Ross, Kulpa and had no chance to see whether or not Cabrera’s foot did in fact get across the plate before being tagged out. If he gets into position, it could have been a whole different outcome in the ballgame.
- Twitter. After Pestano blew the lead and the Tribe would go onto lose the ballgame, I had a chance to check Twitter postgame and was angry at some of the things I read. No names please, there were some people who asked why weren’t fans blowing up Pestano’s Twitter account and ripping on him like they did with closer Chris Perez. Really?! Is this going to happen each time a pitcher blows the lead for the Indians now? Listen, you know as well as I know there is a totally different relationship fans have between Pestano compared with Perez, and it goes back to what the closer said publically last year. I am in no way saying those fans were right who called out Perez because they aren’t and are a bunch of cowards for hiding behind their keyboards. I am just frustrated by the fact that certain people think they owe Perez something and want to continue to back him on Twitter even though he doesn’t even have a profile anymore. If he let go and deleted his Twitter, so should you. Time to move on with the 112 games left in the season don’t you think?
If you agree, you can follow me on Twitter @JBirdman27
The Top 3
- Kazmir back on track. It wasn’t his best start, but Kazmir gave his team a chance to win going five strong innings, giving up just two runs on five hits in the game. It was a bounce back start for the Tribe left-hander as he gave up nine earned runs in his last eight innings prior to pitching against Boston on Saturday. Netting the no decision, Kazmir is now 2-2 with a 5.94 ERA in seven starts this season, striking out 36 in 33 1/3 innings.
- Asdrubal. Despite his lack of defense in the ninth inning, Cabrera had a great day offensively going 3-for-5 with a double and RBI hitting in the three-hole in the lineup. Over his last 10 games, the Indians shortstop is hitting .366 (15-for-41) with five RBI, raising his batting average from .232 to a solid .263.
- Two out hits. All of Cleveland’s four runs on Saturday came in the clutch with two outs in an inning. Although they would lose the game, good teams have always been known to find ways to manufacture runs in key situations with two outs. We’ve seen this happen in the three walk-off hits last week, as the Tribe always brings with them a never die attitude each and every game. The team wasn’t able to get the outcome they wanted in the end, but the offense was out in full force to deliver in key two out situations.
With the loss, Cleveland stays just a half game in back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the American League Central Division with a record of 27-21.
Saturday marked the first loss for the Indians when leading after the sixth inning. They were an undefeated 25-0 in the category prior to the ballgame.
Up next for the Indians: The rubber match of the four-game series with Boston concludes on Sunday, as Corey Kluber (3-3, 5.19 ERA) takes the hill for the Wahoo’s versus Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.61 ERA) at 1:35 p.m. Doubront picked up the win against the Tribe back on April 14, when he went five innings giving up just two runs on four hits in a 7-2 victory.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.