This just in: Mike Trout is good at baseball.
“There’s a lot to like about Trout,” said manager Terry Francona said with a smile. “I actually think for his sake they should rest him on Wednesday. He’s got a chance to be a pretty good player. You don’t want to tire him out.”
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the one of the in the game and in this one, the Indians just couldn’t stop the Angels phenom in the 9-3 loss. It was Puppypalooza at Progressive Field on Tuesday night, but it was the Tribe who wound up playing like dogs.
Tribe starter Josh Tomlin was doing what he does best, tossing strikes. The problem was the Angel hitters were having their way with him. Kole Calhoun and Trout started the first inning with back to back hits and Calhoun was brought home by an Albert Pujols RBI groundout. Over the next three innings, Tomlin would bend, but did not break.
Meanwhile, the Tribe offense was able to scratch across single runs in the second and fourth to take a 2-1 lead. A Carlos Santana walk and a Lonnie Chisenhall single set the table for David Murphy who’s RBI groundout tied the game. Chisenhall’s ninth homer of the season two innings later off of starter Matt Shoemaker was a no doubter. But that was essentially all the Indians offense would muster as Shoemaker settled in nicely.
It was Puppypalooza at Progressive Field on Tuesday night, but it was the Tribe who wound up playing like dogs.
He would go eight strong innings, giving up just the two runs on five hits, striking out 10 and walking just once. The Indians approach against Shoemaker was not what you would refer to as patient. If not for the rain delay, the kid could have easily finished as he threw just 94 pitches.As for his counterpart, Tomlin finally crumbled during a four-run Angels fifth. Naturally, this was all aided by another appearance by the Bad News Bears defense. With one on and nobody out, Raul Ibanez sent a grounder into the shift which was charged by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Once again, Asdrubal booted it as he tried to pick it and tag the running David Freese. By the time he retrieved the ball, everyone was safe. If Asdrubal does what he is supposed to do, there are two out and nobody on for ninth batter Hank Conger. Instead, his league leading 13th error opened the flood gates.
“I think I had a chance at the double play,” said Cabrera, “but I never really felt the ball in my glove.”
After Conger popped out, Calhoun, who had four hits on the night, singled in Freese to tie the game at two. Up next was Trout who went the other way off of Tomlin for a three-run, game-changing homer.
“I threw him a handful of cutters in that at-bat, hopefully trying to get him to take that pitch, or foul it back, or hoping it would cut away,” Tomlin said. “But it didn’t, he put a pretty good swing on it and you saw it happen.”
Tomlin would give up another homer in the sixth, this one of the solo variety by Howie Kendrick. The Little Cowboy has always had a propensity to give up the long ball. He has now given up nine homers in his eight starts; at least one in each game.
Trout wasn’t done as he hit his second jack of the night off of reliever Mark Lowe in the seventh. Calhoun got Josh Outman for his fifth dinger of the season in the ninth. All in all it was an ugly way to end a beautiful 10-game home winning streak.
Two highlights for the fans came in sideshow moments. During a break in the action, a frisbee catching dog did a few tricks in left field. Just as he finished making his last catch, the dog laid out in a full stretch, relieving himself on the field for a good 25 seconds. It was hysterical. Even left-fielder Ryan Raburn had to chuckle.
Then came the fifth inning foul ball hit into the upper deck just past first base by Ibanez. There were no fans sitting in these empty sections. The ball landed and rolled around under the seats. Three fans raced from their seats to try and get the ball, except they couldn’t find it. The next thing you knew, 20-25 fans joined in the search. Nobody could locate the elusive ball. This went on for a solid 15 minutes before the ushers finally cleared the crowd. As the game went on, more fans tried to find the ball, but it was never discovered.
Sad but true story, but on a night where the Indians were dominated, it was a story nonetheless for those of us in the park.
The Tribe will try to start a new winning streak tomorrow night when they send Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.05 ERA) to the mound, fresh off of the worst start of his career last Friday in Boston where he lasted just two innings, giving up five runs. He will face off with Angels lefty C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.50 ERA)
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)