Second Thoughts Game #76: Indians 3, Orioles 6
O’s steal win from Masterson and the Indians with five-run seventh
A Nasty Masty Meltdown
Wow, I’m still in shock. Indians ace Justin Masterson had a perfect game through four innings. Slider, sinker, everything was virtually unhittable. Then in the fifth inning, the right-hander allows back-to-back singles toAdam Jones and Chris Davis. Okay, perfect game and no-hitter no longer in play. Then a fielder’s choice groundout scores a run. Ah well, it’s only one run and the Indians had already plated three. He limited the damage and got through the sixth inning without much trouble. It’s all good, right?
Bottom of the seventh inning comes. Masterson comes out in the home stretch of seemingly his latest gem of a start this season. A slider gets away from him and beans Jones in the back. Hmm, that’s odd, but he does lose command of the wicked movement of his pitches from time to time. Then Chris Davis, an early Triple Crown and MVP contender, takes the first pitch he sees from Masterson and plants it in the outfield seats. Tie game.
Alright, that’s disappointing, but since Chris Davis now already has 28 home runs on the season, I guess giving up a dinger to him is not such a big deal. Regardless, it appeared to shake up the right-hander as he proceeded to walk a batter, allow a single and throw a wild pitch.
Then Alexi Casilla, a guy who’s barely hitting above the Mendoza line with only 11 previous career major league home runs steps up to the plate. With Casilla being the #9 hitter and Masterson in need of an out, it seemed like an ideal matchup for the Indians. Casilla had other ideas in mind. A three-run shot heard around the world, well at least around the Cuyahoga, giving Baltimore a 6-3 lead and putting a dagger into the stunned Tribe.
Many Tribe faithful are still not quite sure how it happened, but it happened. Masterson had a great game going and failed come crunch time. A team certainly expects better from their ace and I guarantee no one knows that better than Masterson. He can pitch better. Try again next time.
Jason Kipnis is an All-Star
Whether the rest of Major League Baseball realizes it or not, Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis is good enough to represent the American League in the Midsummer Classic. Kipnis put on another fine performance at the plate on Tuesday night going 2-for-2 with a two-run home run, a single and two walks.
After a slow and frustrating start to the season where he hit only .200, the rising star infielder has caught fire hitting .335 since the start of May and a scorching .408 in the month of June raising his season average to .288 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI’s. Kipnis is now in the top five at his position in just about every offensive category.
The only thing that could keep Kipnis from landing an All-Star bid is his tough competition. Robinson Cano of the Yankees will more than likely garner the popular vote, and deservedly so. He’s been as good as ever once again in 2013. Boston’s Dustin Pedroia could also be tough for Kipnis to overtake on the fan ballot. Others up for consideration could include the Halos’ Howie Kendrick and Jose Altuve of Houston.
Still, it won’t hurt for Tribe fans to go out and show support for a guy who has played well enough to at least deserve an effort at an all-star campaign. So get out there and vote Kipnis!
The Indians could be on the verge of getting two key components back on the active roster. Last year’s all-star representatives Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez have spent the last several weeks recovering from injuries, but are about ready to make their return to the Indians lineup and bullpen, respectively.
The Indians have been pleasantly surprised and pleased with the progress starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has made in his recovery from a quad injury. Cabrera has taken part in batting practice and all other baseball activities outside of live game action the last few days. At the present time, there are no plans to send the switch-hitting infielder on a minor league rehab assignment. In fact, the team has expressed that he could be activated as soon as Wednesday.
All-star closer Chris Perez has dealt with off and on shoulder issues since the start of spring training. The right-hander tried to pitch through his issues until he was finally sent to the disabled list earlier this month. Thankfully, surgery was not required, but he would have to take some extended time off to allow his shoulder to heal.
After a mixed bag of rehab appearances, Perez finished on a strong note pitching a dominant inning for the short season Single-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers. He set down the opposition 1-2-3 on 14 pitches complete with a strikeout. Perez said after the game he hopes to be activated by Thursday, although he said the final decision lies in the hands of manager Terry Francona and the Indians front office.
Quote of the Game
“Everything was working well… And then it wasn’t,” – Justin Masterson on his seventh inning meltdown.
Quick Game Facts:
- Alexi Casilla hadn’t hit a home run since August 8th of last season, ironically, against Justin Masterson.
- Jason Kipnis has now reached base safely in 27 consecutive games.
- 2013 Tribe first round pick Clint Frazier made his professional debut for the Arizona rookie league Indians on Tuesday night and homered in his first at-bat.
- Despite his meltdown on Tuesday, Justin Masterson collected seven strikeouts putting him third in the league in strikeouts at 117.
Up Next: Indians vs. Orioles at Camden Yards. 7:05pm ET first pitch.
Good Scott Kazmir or bad Scott Kazmir? Good Jason Hammel or bad Jason Hammel? Which pitchers will show up at Camden Yards on Wednesday night as the Indians and Orioles meet again for game three of a four-game series. After Tuesday night’s Orioles victory, the series is now tied and both teams are looking to move up in their respective division races. Both Kazmir and Hammel have dealt with inconsistency this season, but have been able to dominate starts as well.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.