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Second Thoughts Game #86: Tigers 7, Indians 0

Tribe lays egg in front of sellout crowd

Second Thoughts Game #86: Tigers 7, Indians 0
July 6, 2013
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Not So Nasty Masty

After pitching a complete-game shutout against the White Sox last weekend, Justin Masterson couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning before giving up six of the Tigers’ seven runs of the night.

In the first inning, it appeared as if it would be another strong performance by the Tribe ace as he set down the side in order with ease, but Detroit struck first in the second with a bases-loaded RBI single by Ramon Santiago. In the third, it was the league’s RBI leader, Miguel Cabrera coming through with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

After another 1-2-3 shutout inning in the fourth, the knockout punch was delivered where none other than former Tribesmen Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta drove in three runs and chased Masterson out of the game.

Masterson has thrown an MLB-best three complete-game shutouts so far this season. However, in two of the three starts following a complete game effort, the right-hander has pitched five or less innings and earned the loss in both games.

Give Hill Credit

I’ll admit that I, like many other Tribe faithful, was ready to throw Rich Hill under the bus and call for someone else to step in as the Indians lefty specialist. But lately, the left-hander has stepped up and become somewhat reliable in that capacity. Over his last 10 appearances, including Friday night, Hill has only allowed two earned runs on four hits in six and two-thirds innings pitched. Hill has also only allowed three walks and struck out nine in that time.

On Friday, Hill stopped the bleeding in the fifth inning by striking out Don Kelly on three pitches. Hill then went on to retire the side in order in the sixth.

The key for the left-hander’s success is his arm slot due to his side-arm delivery. When he was at his worst, some hitters pointed out that his arm slot was out of place to the point where he would tip off his pitches before he threw them. When he has it in the right slot, however, it becomes very hard for hitters, especially lefties, to pick up his pitches.

The bullpen has not been the dominant force that the Indians have known the last couple seasons and any positive contribution will be much-appreciated. Let’s hope the Rich Hill can continue to do so consistently.

A Nice First Impression

While it may be hard to find positives in this particular game, but along with a strong performance by Hill, right-handerJoe Martinez continued to make a strong impression for the Tribe despite the fact that he’ll be optioned back to AAA Columbus to make room for tomorrow’s scheduled starter, Carlos Carrasco.

On Friday night, Martinez came in for mop-up duty to try and save the bullpen in a game that was pretty far out of reach. He ended up pitching the remaining three innings of the game and while he did allow a run, he did strike out two and faced the heart of the Tigers lineup twice with no damage done.

Five innings in two appearances may be a small sample size, but in both circumstances, Martinez was called upon to pitch multiple innings and give the bullpen a break and both times, he’s come through. Despite his poor AAA numbers this season, Martinez will be on the Tribe’s short-list for long-relief help in the future.

        Quick Game Facts:

  •  Indians sold out a non-opening day for the first time since July 4th, 2011. They drew 40,167 on Friday night.
  • Jason Kipnis extended his hitting streak to 16 games and on-base streak to 36 games with a one-out single in the sixth.
  • Friday night marked the first time in 19 starts this season that Justin Masterson didn’t pitch at least five innings in a game.
  • Since 2011, the Indians have gone 0-4 and been outscored 28-11 in games where they sold at least 35,000 tickets.

Up Next: Tigers vs. Indians @ Progressive Field. First pitch at 4:05pm ET.

Well, it was not the way the Indians wanted to start this four-game set, but it’s still only one game. However, it doesn’t get any easier from here on out. The Tigers will activate left-hander Anibal Sanchez from the DL for Saturday’s start while the Tribe will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who they’ll recall from AAA Columbus. Sanchez has yet to face Cleveland this season. On the other hand, Carrasco has had one rough start against Detroit where he gave up six earned runs in just four innings pitched.

Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.

User Comments

July 6, 2013 - 4:56 PM EDT
1st open and 2 strikes on Cabrera and we pitch to him. Can't believe it. If manning was off the air he would still be swearing.

And another nice job by carrasco.
July 6, 2013 - 4:37 PM EDT
not one of of our starters has a good track record of say 4 yrs or so.

masterson is a #3 on a good staff and jimenez stinks.

and if our top 2 prospects carrasco and bauer continue to struggle, we are in trouble.

don't know if the staff can hold it together. we shall see.
Jake Dungan
July 6, 2013 - 3:50 PM EDT
Yes, Matt and Rick are the TV play-by-play announcers and are usually the guys you hear in the video highlights. You're not alone, though, since fans over here don't particularly like them either.
July 6, 2013 - 3:27 PM EDT
Well I stand corrected Jake. The guys I think are weak are the ones I see/hear on the video highlight clips, so maybe they are on the video side, is that Matt Underwood and Rick Manning? I had never seen them until about a week ago when they had Kevin Costner in the booth. They look stiff, which I suppose doesn't matter if you're listening not watching, but there is no excitement in their voices and that does matter. The importance of good broadcasters cannot be overestimated in developing a healthy fanbase
Jake Dungan
July 6, 2013 - 1:27 PM EDT
Are you talking about Matt Underwood? Tom Hamilton's the radio play-by-play man and he is very good at his job. Underwood, not so much.
July 6, 2013 - 12:09 PM EDT
Random thoughts- the Indians inability to play well and win in front of large home crowds is disturbing. I mean it takes a lot to get them out there and then you gut punch them w no game games against the Yankees and Detroit. When you throw your ace against the Tiger's 5 th starter, you gotta make a game of it. When you go up 5 zip against James Shields, it's a game you gotta win. Mark Reynolds is killing them. Every game he plays it's like the opposing pitchers get 4 innings where they only have to get 2 outs, because Reynolds is a forfeit. He's gotta go. Yan Gomes provides way better at bats, I'm guessing he can play third and first as well as Reynolds, and both he and the team will benefit by his getting more AB's; he's a keeper, Reynolds is gone next year. And finally, I have to say Tom Hamilton and Rick Manning are some of the worst radio broadcasters in the league. Maybe I'm spoiled out here W Coast w Miller, Krukow, Kuiper, Fleming w the Giants and Ken Korach, Bill King RIP w the A's. These guys are pretty much always insightful and on fire and listeners are drawn into the games like moths to a flame. The broadcasters are an integral part of the team culture. If the Indians want to advance, Hamilton and Manning are dead skin

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