Second Thoughts Game #75: Tigers 5, Indians 4
The Cleveland Indians (37-38) dropped their second straight game to the Detroit Tigers (39-32) 5-4 on Saturday night at Progressive Field, this time in 10 innings. Miguel Cabrera doubled in Ian Kinsler in the tenth inning to give the Tigers the lead back.
Victor Martinez gave Detroit an early 1-0 with a lead off second inning home run to right. But the Indians got the run back thanks to a sharply hit ball by Nick Swisher that handcuffed second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Carlos Santana gave the Indians the lead in the fifth inning with a one-out rocket-shot over the wall in right.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer pitched well through the first five, allowing only the one run, but he started to labor in the sixth. Miguel Cabrera led off the inning with a double and was driven home on a single by Victor Martinez.
Despite some hard-hit outs, Bauer was sent back out for the seventh. After striking out Eugenio Suarez to open the inning, Bauer served up back-to-back home runs to Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler and the Tigers had a two-run lead.
Bauer pitches well, but stuggles late
There was no point in Saturday night’s game where I thought Trevor Bauer looked dominant. At the same time, he threw the ball well. But he hit a wall last night in the sixth inning and it was pretty apparent that he was done. Every out was a rocket off the bat.
That said, I completely agree with Terry Francona’s decision to leave him out there. It probably cost them this game, but the Indians need their starters to pitch deeper into games. Their bullpen is like a lot of other bullpens, they are better when they aren’t overused.
Ian Kinsler led off the tenth with a single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. The decision for Cody Allen and the Indians was either pitch to batting champion and MVP Miguel Cabrera or former Indian and current Indian killer Victor Martinez. I like that they went after Cabrera. Why not? Go after the biggest guy in the yard. This is baseball – you’re likely to get him out.
Except they didn’t get him out and I’m here writing about a loss. They had two bases open; maybe they should have walked both of them and took their chances with the other Martinez.
They fight. With two outs in the ninth and nobody on three consecutive batters got one strike away from ending it and all three singled to extend the game.
Also, the bullpen, despite Cody Allen’s tenth inning, looked good last night. Scott Atchison struck out two over 1.2 innings in relief of Trevor Bauer. Kyle Crockett, who had his permission slip from his parents, got an out to start the ninth. Vinnie Pestano made his second appearance since his return and got the other two outs.
As good as the ninth inning was, the tenth featured batters who swung at pitches out of the zone against Phil Coke. Michael Brantley got himself in trouble early in the at-bat by swinging at a pitch that was at his neck, which led to a strikeout.
Their lineup is oddly put-together. Jason Kipnis is hitting .206 against left-handers this season, so they put him in the fourth spot behind Michael Brantley, who is also a left-hander. That pretty much gaurantees that he’s going to face a lefty in the late innings. But that’s also a byproduct of the Indians being too left-handed in the first place. Kipnis, Brantley and Nick Swisher combined to go 0-for-14 on Saturday night.
After the Indians finish up on Sunday afternoon with the Tigers, they head west in search of gold. They have an off day on Monday, followed by two in Arizona and another off day, which is why Zach McAllister was sent down to Columbus. On Saturday, he made his third start for the Clippers and pitched fairly well. He gave up two runs over seven innings in the Clippers 14-2 victory over Lehigh Valley, and yes, Lehigh Valley was wearing the bacon uniforms.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.
Two guys over .265.
Bring Aguilar up and give him ABs. Can he be any worse than what we have?
If the bats don't come around we have no shot at wildcard. Won't catch the yanks and angels and some others.
I'd propose this lineup:
The only two lefties back-to-back are Murphy and Bourn, and both (especially Murphy) have been decent/solid against lefties. It would be hard for opposing teams to match up against this lineup, it would take advantage of Santana's hotness, it would propel Gomes higher up, with that better trio hitting in front of him, it would limit Kipnis' ineffectiveness and offensive struggles, as well as Swisher's, with the hope it would get both of them going on a consistent basis.
One thing working against Francona: He sticks with ineffective lineups a little too long- he did this with Swisher and Santana, and he's doing it again with Kipnis. He needs to get Kipnis out of that spot- in my opinion, he shouldn't have been in that spot to begin with- he put Chisenhall in there for a few games, he would have been and still would be a better bet there than Kipnis.
So in a game like this, with Verlander starting and Victor and Miggy coming up in the 10th with a runner in scoring position, the outcome is easy to predict.
At least the Indians are winning their share of games against the Tigers this year - so far.