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Second Thoughts: Game #92 - Indians 0, Rays 6

Second Thoughts: Game #92 - Indians 0, Rays 6
July 20, 2012
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  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
TB 0 0 1 0 0 4 1 0 X 6 11 0
W: D. Price (13-4) L: U. Jimenez (8-9)

Pre-Game Notes:

The Tribe secured the series split Wednesday night with a come from behind win against the Tampa Bay bullpen.  That win was important for many reasons, among them, the decreased importance of overcoming Tampa Bay’s ace, David Price, on Thursday.  Ubaldo Jimenez would be matched up against Price after a rough outing in his last start where he lasted only 2 1/3 innings and gave up 8 runs against the Blue Jays.

Scoring Recap:

- Luke Scott had a solo home run in the third inning to give the Rays the lead 1-0.

- The Rays added four runs in the 6th after the Rays strung the following line together with two outs: HBP, 1B, BB, 2B, 1B.  The two-out rally gave the Tribe some of their own medicine after Wednesday night’s  and increased the deficit to 5-0 Rays.

- Lefty Scott Barnes gave up a run after back-to-back doubles from Luke Scott and Jeff Keppinger in the seventh.

Starting Pitching

Ubaldo Jimenez: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 5 K

- Through five innings Jimenez battled with Price, keeping the Indians within one run. His best pitch all day was probably his splitter, though the home run he gave up to Luke Scott was on a splitter he left up.  He regained his focus and recovered after teetering on the brink in the 1st and 4th inning.  He gave the Tribe five innings of one-run ball against David Price, but couldn’t hold on for six innings.

- It is no surpise that what eventually did Ubaldo in was walks.  Against the weak Tampa Bay offense challenging hitters and limiting free passes is a must.  But Ubaldo’s control got the best of him as he tired in the 6th and he hit Desmond Jennings, gave up a single to Jose Molina, walked Sean Rodriguez, and then gave up a three-run double to Upton, all with two outs.

Offense

- There was no offense to speak of Thursday afternoon.  It’s not really surprising as the Tribe was facing David Price but the Tribe managed only two hits the entire game.  Even though Price is left-handed this is really not a story about the Tribe struggling against left-handed pitching, it is a story about the Tribe being dominated by a top flight starter.

- Price had the Indians leaning back to the base all day with his pick-off move, but the throws were never close.  Every time he threw over I thought, “that can’t be his best move.”  Then boom, quick throw over in the sixth and Asdrubal Cabrera is picked off.  That was his best move.

- Against someone like Price you can’t let opportunities slip away or give outs back to the other team.  In other words Asdrubal Cabrera getting picked off first and Carlos Santana getting thrown out at third on what I hope was a botched hit and run (otherwise Santana just took off) can’t happen.

Defense

- Lou Marson proved his defensive abilities in the first inning, getting his glove under Luke Scott’s foul tip and helping Jimenez get out of a jam.  Who knows what happens if Marson doesn’t hold on and Scott gets a shot at a few more pitches.  (If you need an answer to this question ask Rays’ manager Joe Maddon about what happens when a batter gets an “extra” strike.)

- Nice play by Jimenez on the safety squeeze in the fourth inning to nab Desmond Jennings at home.  Good job to get off the mound quickly and good awareness to beat Jennings to the plate.

Bullpen

Jeremy Accardo: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Scott Barnes: 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K

- We all know how good Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez are.  Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Accardo have had their moments (both good and bad).  But with Jimenez starting to struggle in the 6th there was no one Manny Acta trusted more than Jimenez to get one more out.  I can’t say that I blame him either.  Jimenez had pitched well and past the big three this bullpen requires lots of antacid.

- Accardo pitched well for one inning but the damage was already done and the pressure was off.  Barnes came into a jam and took a while before he could stop the bleeding.  This team cannot truly succeed without some better middle relief options.  Here’s to hoping the rehab of Raffy Perez continues to progress well.

User Comments

Rich
July 20, 2012 - 8:43 AM EDT
Not that it affected the outcome, but that hit-and-run was pretty stupid. I mean, having Santana take off for third with Price pitching? Does Price ever get anybody to swing and miss?

To be fair, Lou Marson can generally put the ball in play with that short swing to the opposite field. And maybe Manny figured that with Price on top of his game we couldn't just sit back and wait for three or four consecutive hits to get a couple of runs. He had to force the issue and hope for some luck.

Unfortunately, Price threw a fastball about a foot outside and Marson had no chance to put wood on it. I can see the logic behind the move, it's just too bad Lou didn't get a pitch in the zone.

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