A rain-drenched game was not what the doctor ordered for the Indians.
That’s what they got in Chicago last night however. The game was delayed from starting because of the threat of rain, which eventually came, but not prevalently during the 41-minute delay.
Justin Masterson started for the Indians and labored during his three innings of work. He gave up just a single run, but allowed four hits and a pair of walks and threw a wild pitch that allowed the only run he allowed to get into scoring position.
The Indians right now are just not a team that can afford to give away opportunities. The wild pitch by Masterson and a botched hit and run late in the game were two mistakes that hurt the Tribe.
The rain started in the third inning, and by the fourth was just coming down in buckets, which led to a nearly two hour delay.
When the teams came back to restart, the White Sox had a 1-0 lead and the Indians were forced to rely on the overworked bullpen once again. With the recent injuries and trouble hitting anything but singles, it seemed like a one run lead was maybe all the White Sox would need. Then they got a second run on a solo shot in the fifth.
Mark Lowe followed Masterson, making an appearance in the fourth game out of six since being called up. He worked the fourth and started the fifth inning, but was victimized for that solo shot from the bat of Beckham. It was a no-doubter. Outman came on and got two outs, before giving up a single. Then Francona went to Axford for the third out. Three relievers worked the fifth inning. Not a good ratio knowing you had several innings to play.
The Tribe ended up using five relievers in the game. Obviously, the rain delay played a big part in that. Bad luck? Sure. Just a brutal couple week stretch for the team using the life out of the pen. After the game, Francona said that with an off day on Thursday he isn’t as concerned about using the bullpen today. He said the team will have all relievers available Wednesday night.
The positive from Tuesday night? The defense was pretty good. Brantley, Chisenhall and Bourn had nice plays. Bourn absolutely robbed Paul Konerko of a home run; he timed his jump perfectly and grabbed the ball as it was going over the fence in center.
The offense, however, was stagnant once again. The only run came in the seventh when Lonnie Chisenhall singled and scored on a fielder’s choice hit by Mike Aviles. Aviles was hung out to dry on a failed hit-and-run attempt by Sellers. He stopped short of second base and attempted to retreat to first. It went as a caught stealing and was kind of a microcosm of a season in which not much has fundamentally gone right for them.
The game marked the twenty-seventh time that the Indians have scored three runs or less. The team hasn’t pushed more than two runs across the plate in the last three games. It also was the third straight game in which the Tribe failed to get an extra base hit. That’s the first time that has happened since Mark Lewis, Alex Cole and the ’91 Indians.
That ’91 squad finished 51-105 for those interested.
This year’s team? They are in a world of hurt right now. They are 24-29 and 7.5 games behind the Tigers.
(Image from Tribe Twitter account)