Tribe weekend wrap: Swept away in San Francisco

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants

I’m pinch hitting for TD this morning with the weekend Tribe wrap-up. Lucky me, I get to recap three losses!

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants

Despite a strong outing from Danny Salazar, the Indians came up short in their bid to salvage the final game in the weekend series against the Giants.

It was a miserable series for Cleveland’s position players, who were outscored by San Francisco 14-5 over the weekend. In Friday’s game the only players to get a hit were Bourn, Swisher and Kipnis. In the finale on Sunday that list included just Bourn and Gomes. The Yanimal hit the only home run of the series for the Tribe.

The telling stat for the Indians over the weekend? Try 0-for-29. That was the Tribe’s 4,5 and 6 hitters for the weekend. A big giant goose egg for 29. Those hitters were Santana, Brantley and Cabrera. It was really the first rough series for Brantley all season. He’s been very good, and you have to look at the way he was pitched to and see that the Giants decided not to give him anything he could handle. Cabrera and Santana on the other hand have been dreadful and they are bookends for Brantley. No reason to give him anything to hit at all.

Here’s where I go off on Carlos Santana because I have the floor.

Ten hits.

That’s it. Ten hits the entire season. Three extra base hits. Three runs batted in. From the clean-up spot.

He’s absolutely killing the Indians right now. Why would you pitch to Kipnis knowing Santana was on deck? Why would you give Brantley anything decent to swing at?

Terry Francona has said that he doesn’t want to move guys all over the line-up. While I am usually on board with that kind of plan, having Santana in the spot designated to drive in runs is insane right now. The best I hope for when he comes up to bat is a walk so that Brantley has a chance to drive in runs, which he has been doing at a top ten pace this season.

The Tribe’s defense continued it’s sub-par play as well. Michael Bourn made a very nice catch on Sunday. He made a running catch in the deepest part of the park with basically his back turned to the plate and making adjustments to the ball as it came down. The few good defensive plays were far out-numbered by the bad or mediocre ones.

It wasn’t really even blatant errors in this series as it was in the series against the Royals. There were just several plays that needed to be made that the Indians just didn’t get to. The big one was in the game on Saturday. Jason Kipnis was shaded towards second base when Hunter Pence hit a ground ball to Kipnis’ left. Kipnis needed to get a glove on the ball, even if he didn’t pop up and make an out. He didn’t and it allowed both the tying and go-ahead runs to score. Jason didn’t dive for the ball. He tried to field it bending over on the run. It was the second consecutive series where the Indians paled in comparison defensively to the team that were matched up against.

That was the big fifth inning that doomed Zach McAllister on Saturday. McAllister was pitching a whale of a game until that fifth. Danny Salazar also pitched a really good game on Sunday, going seven innings and striking out eight. He allowed just one run and wasn’t a part of the decision. He looked a little shaky in the first, but composed himself and had his best start by far this season.

Carlos Carrasco pitched Friday’s game and while it certainly wasn’t his worst start of the year, it wasn’t quite the start the team was looking for from him. He went six innings and gave up four runs. What might be most troubling were comments he made after the game when asked if he was worried his spot in the rotation was in jeopardy.

“Yes, every day,” Carrasco said. “I pitch every five days. I worry every single day.”

I imagine he does worry every day. However, that can’t be good for his pitching. He has no confidence right now.

If you are looking for positives to take away from the series I will offer a couple. First and foremost was the outing by Salazar. It was just what the doctor ordered for the young pitcher. Solid outing in that he battled back several times after falling behind hitters. He managed to get the lead-off hitter out in every inning as well, something that has plagued him all season long.

The other positive would be Michael Bourn. After a one for thirteen start to his season, Bourn is warming up. He had five hits in the weekend series (or for those paying close attention half of Santana’s hit total all year). He saw the ball well, avoiding any strikeouts.

The Tribe travels down the coast to start a series with the Angels today. The Indians are now 11-14, three games behind the Tigers who were washed out yesterday. The Angels are 11-13 and will throw a pair of lefty starters at the Tribe. The Indians are 3-6 when facing a lefty starter this year. Justin Masterson starts tonight against Tyler Skaggs, one of the aforementioned left-handers.

  • boomhauertjs

    Do team’s purposely realign their rotations so the Tribe has to face all of the lefties? It sure seems like it…
    Santana has to be out of the 4-hole. The top 3 of the order hit close to .400 for the series, yet the Tribe couldn’t score any runs. Brantley’s bad series didn’t help matters, but he can’t drive in all of their runs.

  • mgbode

    Carrasco said. “I pitch every five days. I worry every single day.”

    compared to:
    Kluber said. “I really wasn’t trying to make a bigger deal out of it than going out there and getting three more outs”

    http://waitingfornextyear.com/2014/04/mlb-news-cleveland-indians-corey-kluber-11-strikeouts/

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    Exactly.

  • mgbode

    Santana is struggling even more now that pitchers are catching onto his hitting struggles. I don’t know what is wrong with him, but agree that we should drop him in the lineup until he gets it corrected. I know that the lineup itself doesn’t mean all that much statistically, but I would still make the adjustment right now if for nothing else than the psychological impact to the team that they need to snap out of this funk.

    I do like what Bourn is giving us right now. He seems better the past week than at any time since he signed with us. Not just in play but how he is carrying himself. Now, if we could just figure out why he cannot steal bases in the AL (and tell him to not try against S. Perez until he figures that out).

    On the sweep, Saturday’s game killed me. We had so many chances to break the game open and couldn’t get that hit. Then, Kipnis’ non-effort (where have you gone dirtbag?) seemed to open the door for the Giants to take the game. Frustrating.

  • nj0

    Carrasco didn’t have a terrible game. Not the best, but a performance I can live with from a guy that I see as a bottom of the rotation guy. Still, I am getting to the point that I’d rather see what Bauer can do.

    The real worry is the offense. League average is about 4.44 runs a game of offense. We gave up 4.66. We scored less than two. Got to do better.

  • Steve

    It’s a lot easier to say the right things after the best pitched game of your career than when you’re close to losing your job.

  • nj0

    What worried me was that Carrasco said something after the game about how the new mechanics he’s using aren’t working. So Tito and Mickey apparently talked to him to show him that he actually was getting more velocity from using the higher arm slot. Just disturbing… Lack of communication? Petulant young pitcher who refuses to buy into what the coaches told him? Discomfort with the new mechanics? Something other? All of the above? None of them are particularly reassuring answers.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It’s becoming clear you could live with just about anything this guy does! If your not down with that then I got just two words for ya: OY VEY!

  • nj0

    I’m not too concerned with Santana right now. He’s still walking at a good clip so it’s not like he’s playing outside his game. His K rate is a little on the high side for him, but not absurdly so.

    Looks like he’s just not making good contact while suffering some bad luck with his balls in play. I think he’ll be fine. Just a rough patch, I hope.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    How’s it go, it’s only April?

  • Steve

    Already ahead of last year’s pace!

  • Steve

    That 11.7 LD% is pretty awful though.

  • nj0

    6IP, 5H, 6SO, 1BB… that’s not a terrible line.

    Maybe if we had a defense that didn’t give up triples to Pablo Sandoval our pitchers might give up less runs.

  • nj0

    It is. I’m not saying he’s not struggling. Just saying his approach seems consistent with what produced for him in the past. Reasons to worry, but not reasons to completely freak out.

  • nj0

    9-13 on April 28th of 2013.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Wait aren’t you the guy who totally dismissed those of us who expressed concern over Mr. Santana weeks ago? I know we didn’t regurgitate an advanced statistic for you but welcome to the party pal!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Not terrible and one start until he does it say two games in a row we have less of a trend and more of a fluke.

  • Steve

    I still dismiss it. Like nj0 said, probably just a rough patch.

    LD% stabilizes at 600 balls in play. Santana is at 60.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    SUPER BOWL SUPER BOWL!

  • nj0

    True dat.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Of course you will dismissing is your go to pitch!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m waiting to read how much Jacob enjoyed AT&T Park! :-)

  • mgbode

    I am with you. But, the rough patch doesn’t mean he isn’t hurting the club now. Like I said, I would consider the drop mostly for the mental aspect. Maybe he loosens up and starts raking like usual, maybe he needs the kick in the pants. Right now it isn’t working, sometimes you just need a catalyst to get things right again.

  • mgbode

    I agree. At the same time, that comes off as a very typical Kluber line and a very typical Carrasco line.

    I like the skillset Carrasco has and would not risk demoting him to AAA. I would put him in the bullpen and see if that situation is better suited for his temperment.

    This is the same guy afterall:

    http://waitingfornextyear.com/2013/04/video-carlos-carrasco-ejected-after-hitting-kevin-youkilis/

  • mgbode

    I think it was frustration. After Mickey/Tito saw it, they talked to him and there was a follow-up about how Carrasco was on-board with it now (equating things to a golf swing – just because it feels like you’re doing it harder does not mean you are).

    Regardless, Carlos shouldn’t be speaking as such to the media and it’s another ding in the armor for our view of his personality.

  • mgbode

    and the Wharf before/afterwards.

  • Steve

    You can’t demote him to AAA anyway. Out of options.

    I’m guessing Bauer is the next to get called up, but I think Carrasco getting moved to the pen will come with more performances from Tomlin like last Friday. 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 K, 0 BB, a very efficient 98 pitches. Carrasco in the rotation was necessary until we proved we had some rotation depth. It’s starting to show.

  • nj0

    Bauer had another great game as well.

    Sidenote: I never realized that Huntington Park was such an extreme hitters park.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Rosen has been slacking lately what’s up wit ur boy?

  • mgbode

    http://i.imgur.com/i8guMVq.png

    In other words, demanding much? :)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He should be greatful I noticed but please, stop looking into my eyes, it’s creeping me out!