Second Thoughts Game #70: Royals 3, Indians 4
Indians victorious despite fundamental miscues
Ugly wins still count
At times, it felt like the Indians were doing everything in their power to giftwrap a win for Kansas City. Between the wild pitches from Ubaldo Jimenez, a mind-numbingly bad throw to first base by right-hander Cody Allen all the way to the ninth inning where the Tribe had the lead but the Royals had the bases loaded with two outs, nothing was easy for the hometown boys at Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
During the Tribe’s recent losing stretch, this would’ve been a game that they would have lost. This time, however, they showed resilience despite shooting themselves in the foot on multiple occasions. After seven and a half innings of frustrating baseball, it took one decent inning to turn things in the Tribe’s favor scoring three runs on four hits to take the lead and win the game.
As far as this win goes in the division standings, the Indians end up regaining possession of second place after a one-night stay down in third. In addition, the Tigers lost to the Orioles 5-2 despite having ace Justin Verlander on the mound, so the Tribe moves back to 4.5 games behind the division leaders.
Effective, but not deep
There have been a lot of things that Ubaldo Jimenez has done well this season. He’s cut down on the walks and held the opposition to minimal runs on a regular basis. Commanding the strike zone has also been an area where the right-hander has shown improvement this season.
The glaring issue with Jimenez this season has been pitching deep into games and keeping his pitch count down. He’s getting results, but on average has thrown at or near 100 pitches by the fifth inning in the majority of his starts this season. He has pitched as deep as the seventh and eighth innings in a handful of games, but is still averaging right around five innings per start.
However as the old saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers and a year ago, Tribe fans would be begging for five effective innings from Ubaldo Jimenez. Perhaps this is a price to pay to get a reliable version of the enigmatic starter. Five innings a start is not the worst thing in the world when talking about Jimenez as long as they’re quality innings that give the Indians a chance to win each start.
Right-handed reliever Blake Wood and Indians closer Chris Perez both pitched an inning for the Indians AA affiliate Akron Aeros on Tuesday night. Wood has been on rehab assignment for the past month or so now after recovering from Tommy John surgery while Perez is currently on the disabled list working his way back from a shoulder strain.
The Indians acquired right-hander Blake Wood early last offseason after spending his entire professional career with the Royals organization. Wood spent the majority of the 2012 season on the disabled list recovering from a torn UCL in his elbow and surgery. Making his fourth rehab appearance for the Aeros, Wood allowed only one hit while striking out the side in a shutout inning of work. In six overall minor league rehab appearances this season, the 27-year-old has no decisions with 1.80 ERA.
Unfortunately, the fate of the Tribe closer did not turn out quite as well. Making his second rehab appearance since going on the disabled list, Chris Perez pitched the second inning in relief of Wood and surrendered five runs on five hits, including three home runs, a double and a hit batsman. He did have a strikeout, though. While there’s been no official word to the contrary as of yet, it’s unclear at this point if Perez will be able to make his scheduled return date on Friday.
Quote of the Game:
"I might go to the casino tonight. Full uni. Bet on blue,” – Terry Francona on his team’s luck late in the game.
Up Next: Royals vs. Indians @ Progressive Field. 7:05 first pitch.
The Indians find themselves in their third straight rubber match as they look to take another series. On paper, it’s a matchup which appears to heavily favor the Indians as they’ll send ace Justin Masterson to the mound against Royals #5 starter Luis Mendoza.
Masterson did have a rough start against the Royals earlier this season giving up seven earned runs in six and a third innings, although he did strike out nine in the game. Mendoza has yet to face the Tribe in 2013, but was 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five appearances against Cleveland last year.
Win another series and stay in the race. That’s the name of the game right now, folks.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.
Three runs allowed in the last two games on pitches in the dirt that got away from Santana. These weren't wild pitches that he couldn't get his glove on. These were balls that he was right in front of but couldn't keep from getting past him. He's so bad at blocking balls in the dirt it's a joke. There's a reason the Indians lead the league in wild pitches, and it's not the pitchers.
Next year I'd like to see Gomes catch 75% of the time with Santana as the DH, or alternating with Swisher at 1B/DH.
Did I mention that Carlos is something like 4-for-40 in throwing out base stealers?
Great hitting by Bourn, Kipnis, Aviles and Brantley in the 8th to push three runs across. Hope Masterson wins tonight so we get our third straight series win.