Second Thoughts: Game #60 - Indians 1, Reds 7
|W: J. Cueto (7-3) L: J. Gomez (4-5)|
The Line: 5IP, 6H, 2/1 R/ER. 4BB, 2K, 1GIDP, 1 WP
The Results: 92 pitches, 52% strikes, 10GB, 4FB, PO, 4LD
The Write-up: Gomez was wildly effective for five innings. He walked two unintentionally, two intentionally, had a wild pitch and generally was missing his spots, but getting out of jams. You could make an argument that the Reds offense was just in a groove and that Gomez did well to only yield two runs in the five innings he did pitch. After all, the Reds offense got the leadoff runner on five out of eight innings and had a runner on 2nd or 3rd six out of eight innings.
Gomez is still generating a good number of groundballs and despite underwhelming stuff looks like a Major League pitcher. The issue recently has been a lack of command. Simply put, with poor strikeout numbers he absolutely can’t walk guys. The same way that Masterson and Fausterto Carmandez struggle mightily when they walk guys is true for Gomez as well. Groundballs insure you limit damage because they can find holes, but if you put runners on then you are taking the chance that the singles drive in runs instead of merely put a man on first.
The Line: 3IP, 7H, 0BB, 3K, 1 WP
The Results: 50 pitches, 72% strikes, 7GB, 3FB, PO, 3LD
The Write-up: Joe Smith was great and Tony Sipp made one bad pitch. Jeremy Accardo had been looking really good for the past couple of weeks but had a night to forget as he yielded five hits and three runs in a single inning of work. All three pitchers threw strikes and it was just one of those nights where the only mistake made by Sipp was punished by the best hitter in the NL. Accardo didn’t walk anyone and generally looked like his typical self by inducing groundballs and using the splitter to finish guys off. Just one of those nights all around where there isn’t much to say whether it is good, or bad.
The Starting Lineup
The Line: 6/32, 1 2B, 0HR, 0BB, 0SB, 1 CS
The Results: 1R, 7TB, 7LOB, AVG/OBP/SLG 188/188/219
The Write-up: Some evenings you simply tip your hat to the opposing pitcher after he mows down your lineup for nine innings. Tuesday night was one of those nights. Aside from a slashed leadoff double by Choo in the 1st, the Indians got absolutely nothing going all night. So, rather than take any space to lament the meager showing, let’s turn our attention to the lineup overall. The Indians currently have the following two slash lines at 1B and LF:
Casey Kotchman: .215/.285/.320
Johnny Damon: .184/.276/.282
The Indians rank 2nd to last in Slugging in the AL and 4th to last in the Major Leagues. Jumping to conclusions is typically a bad idea, but having a combined slugging of around .300 from your two biggest power positions is probably a contributing factor to that. At a certain point, management needs to make a change for the sake of change, especially when the guys already playing are so bad offensively that any minor league player could perform at least as well. The Indians claim that they are going to be buyer’s at the deadline, but you need to get there in good enough shape that the incremental change you acquire at the deadline makes the difference between playoffs and not. Adding one win and falling two short because you lost a bunch of games in June is not exactly the best rationale.
The Indians typically stout defense had a bad game last night. The Tribe had two errors and both led to runs. Carlos Santana made a throw behind Wilson Valdez at 1st in the 3rd inning and had him dead to rights, but aimed it a little low and Casey Kotchman tried to pick-it and apply the tag instead of getting in front of it. Santana made the error but Kotchman did him no favors in knocking it down.
A similar play happened in the 8th when Choo tried to nail Ryan Ludwick going 1st to 3rd and Lonnie Chisenhall couldn’t glove the one-hop throw. It was a mild in-between bounce, but watching the game you couldn’t help but think “I bet Jack Hannahan makes that play.”
All the plays were not bad though as Asdrubal Cabrera did make another great play gloving a one-hop smash to his right. He seems to have perfected the back-handed play where he spins all the way around and then throws it over. Regardless, his hands are incredible and he makes just about every play he can get to.
The Indians had a bad night and Johnny Cueto was a buzz saw: a bad recipe. Brantley did extend his hit streak to 19 games and Gomez learned a thing or two about battling. The Indians will throw Derek Lowe at the Reds tonight and let’s hope the walks are nowhere to be found and the groundballs find gloves instead of gaps. Most importantly, let’s hope for some power in the bandbox that is Great American Ballpark; the Indians need a win and we are all getting tired of watching a punch less lineup slap at the ball.
Gomez didn't have his best stuff but battled for five innings and kept his team in the game, making big pitches to get out of jams. There's something to be said for that. Hope he gets his slider back soon; he's going to need it.
Sipp is having a horrible year with a 6.65 ERA, which is unacceptable for a starter much less a matchup reliever who faces mostly left-handed hitters. I'm not excusing the HR to Votto as "one bad pitch" because he fell behind 2-0 and had to throw it down the middle. It was actually three bad pitches - two balls that weren't close and then he grooved a HR pitch that effectively put the game out of reach at 4-1.
In the end Votto's HR didn't affect the outcome, but it was still another bad performance by Sipp.
Santana also had another bad game, with the wild throw to first and an 0-for-4 at the plate, including two K's. He also allowed a wild pitch when he got lazy and tried to backhand a ball in the dirt. He is deep in a funk right now and needs to break out of it ASAP.
No excuse for Chiz not to catch that throw from Choo. The STO announcers were all over him, saying he "short-armed" it, and they rarely critisize Indian players openly. Translation - he didn't make enough of an effort. That's inexcusable. I'm really not liking anything about his game since coming up from Columbus. This was supposed to be his chance to show he's ready to stay up here for good, and he's blowing it just like LaPorta did last year. He's got a couple more games to do something before Hannahan will probably bump him back to Columbus.