Final Score: Orioles 10 Indians 2
- Tribe scores important response run on Asdrubel Cabrera’s homer in the first but continue to struggle with the bases loaded as Damon grounds out to end the inning. Their sub-mendoza effort with the bases loaded is relatively shocking as they are hitting a hundred points lower than the league average with the sacks packed.
- Hannahan grabs a garbage time run with a bomb. The Tribe really needs Hannahan or Lopez to get hot to cover Chisenhall’s absence as Chiz finally looked ready at the major league level. Perhaps the only disadvantage Chiz offered other than defense was his low OBP.
- The Tribe continues its lethargic offensive approach. RISP (1 for 7) L.O.B. (9)
- Lowe leaving almost everything up. Unable to locate both in terms of throwing strikes and the quality of strikes.
- Lowe threw 72 pitches through his first three innings, 34 were strikes (47%).
- Final line on Lowe:9 E.R. 5 BB’s, 2 HR’s
- Allen was wild in his first major league appearance (two walks) but settles down after that. Allen leaned on his fastball with differing results. Location was inconsistent but the kid can chuck. Throwing 95 with relative ease another young Indian arm with some plus velocity.
- Despite an average showing today Esmil Rogers has been an absolute steal since the Indians acquired him from the Rockies for cash considerations. If Allen can translate his success to the major league level, no easy task, this Tribe bullpen would become five deep. Allen, Rogers, Smith, Pestano, Perez. Allowing Sipp to only enter in lefty-lefty scenario’s.
- Nothing big of note early in the game. However I was intrigued when Damon called off Brantley to end the second inning. Rarely do you see a left-fielder call off his center fielder especially when Johnny Damon is the one doing so, I would have liked to have seen Brantley take charge but as I said a relatively irrelevant critique.
- With Damon’s obvious lack of production at the plate it is tough to watch him play left. If any other Tribe outfielder was playing left in the third inning, Jim Thome would have indeed been held to a long single or hosed at second base.
- Cabrera makes an obvious mistake throwing home to try to get Thome. Playing the infield back, less than two outs, I simply don’t understand why A-Cab would throw through without picking up the out. Either he disagreed with Acta about playing the infield back or simply made a poor instinctual decision. Was a big turning point in the game for Lowe as he could have used that out.
- As soon as I condemn Damon he makes a phenomenal effort like the one he made in the third inning. Diving into the stands. you can tell why he is a great clubhouse guy, willing to sacrifice his body down six runs, professional at work.
Much like last season the Tribe has stumbled into the second half. In order for the Indians to contend or at least be an above average team in the second half their starting pitching must settle. Hopefully a rested and talented Fausto Carmona (Hernandez) can serve as depth. I believe that Lowe is either reaching the end of his strong career or needs some rest during the stretch run. Perhaps Lowe should to skip a start or maybe two. Secondly the offense is a lot closer than most think. Their on-base percentage is outstanding and the back end off the lineup while still disappointing has gradually improved. If Santana or Hafner can re-emerge in the middle of the lineup this team looks very different. I have always believed in the aphorism that one run producer expands to a whole lineup of clutch hitters. I suggest that the pitching will inevitably improve so at the end of the day Carlos Santana, Travis Hafner, and who ever Chris Antonetti can acquire offensively will decide the Indians fate in 2012.