Second Thoughts Game #86: Tigers 7, Indians 0
Tribe lays egg in front of sellout crowd
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.
And another nice job by carrasco.
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.