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Second Thoughts Game #74: Tigers 6, Indians 4

Second Thoughts Game #74: Tigers 6, Indians 4
J.D. Martinez is congratulated after his three-run homer. (Photo: AP)
June 21, 2014
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What can you say?  Don’t pitch to guys named Martinez.  Former Indian Victor Martinez continued to torture his former team, hitting a first pitch two-run shot to right in the fourth inning of Friday night’s 6-4 loss to the Tigers.  As bad as it was to give up that homer, the three-run home run that John Axford gave up to J.D. Martinez in the eighth was the big one. 

Cleveland tried to come back in the bottom of the eighth, but it was too little, too late.  With lefty Ian Krol on the mound, the Indians got homers from Asdrubal Cabrera, a three-run shot, and a solo shot from Carlos Santana, both to left field to bring the deficit to one.

But then the bullpen let them down again.  Rajai Davis, pinch-hitting for Don Kelly, laced a double to left off of Mark Rzepcynski. Two-batters later against a new pitcher Carlos CarrascoIan Kinsler drove him in with a double to right, which provided the final margin of victory.

The Indians got a pinch-hit single in the ninth by Michael Brantley, but couldn’t put together another magical rally.

The Other Martinez

Because I write about the Clippers, I can tell you a little bit about J.D. Martinez.  This isn’t the first time this season that Martinez has muscled up against a team within the Indians organization.

In a span of two days and three games at Huntington Park in Columbus on April 18 and 19, Martinez clubbed five home runs and drove in 18 runs.  The first game of the double-header on April 19 was particularly painful because he homered three times in that game.  Double-headers in the minors, by-the-way are seven inning affairs, which made the whole experience even more amazing.  His contract was selected the next day and he hasn’t been back to Toledo since.

Glass-Half-Full, Half Empty

Corey Kluber is a keeper.  Sure, he gave up a home run to Victor Martinez.  Lots of pitchers have and lots more will.  Otherwise he had a solid outing, pitched deep into the game and kept his team within striking distance. That's all you can ask for from a starting pitcher.

On the other hand, John Axford can go.  Like now.  Like right now.  Even if he keeps the ball in the yard on the second Martinez homer, he’s got the two slowest baseball players known to man running the bases.  There’s a chance only one run scores. 

Offensive offense

The Indians lack of offense throughout this game was a painful response to Thursday afternoon’s comeback.  Sure, they collected 11 hits and put together a rally in the eighth that almost brought them all of the way back, but all I could think as the rally was happening was, ‘this is great timing.’  They just gave up the three-run homer to J.D. Martinez.  The time for the rally was BEFORE the Martinez home run.  But their only real opportunity was in the third inning when they had a pair of one-out singles that put runners on first and second.  Michael Bourn lined out and Asdrubal Cabrera popped out.  Threat over.  They never smelled a chance at a run again off of Tigers starter Rick Porcello.

Last, but not least

I wonder how many Indians fans woke up on Saturday morning and saw the box score to the Reds game against the Blue Jays, and thought to themselves, ‘at least I’m not a Reds fan.’

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

User Comments

June 21, 2014 - 9:32 PM EDT
Gopher balls galore from this staff
June 21, 2014 - 5:38 PM EDT
Don't blame Axford blame the manager that leaves a pitcher in that can only get his fastball over in the 8th inning. Realy dumb but then again he managed to give away a 4 game series to Detroit last yr.
June 21, 2014 - 2:48 PM EDT
Dump ax ASAP. Bring up someone until Zack is ready to make a start.
We have 2 guys over 265!!!!! Unreal. Hard to win and put pressure on the opposition when u have 2 guys hitting.
June 21, 2014 - 1:41 PM EDT
June 21, 2014 - 1:38 PM EDT
I am both a Reds and Indians fan (more of an indians fan) but you are right. It made the lose to the tigers less painful, but blowing an 8 run lead happens to all teams at some time. Just get over it and hope the other teams is tired from running around the bases and the results are better today.

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