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Second Thoughts: Game #107 Tigers 6, Indians 1

Second Thoughts: Game #107 Tigers 6, Indians 1
August 5, 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 1 1 4 0
DET 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 0 X 6 10 0
W: D. Fister (6-7), L: U. Jimenez (8-11)

Player of the Game: Doug Fister (9 innings 4 hits 1 ER 0 BB 6 SO)

The Leadoff

New day; same result for the Indians. The Tribe acted like they never seen Tigers starter Doug Fister before on Saturday night, as he and Detroit extended Cleveland’s losing streak to a season high eight games, defeating the Indians 6-1. It was Fister’s first complete game victory of the year and fourth in his big league career.

Coming into the game undefeated against the Tigers in 2012, Tribe starter Ubaldo Jimenez went just 5 1/3 innings giving up six runs on seven hits, suffering his team-high 11th loss of the season.  

The Bottom 9

  • Bats on ice. Things are really starting to get embarrassing for the Indians offense. Scoring just one run last night, the Tribe has now scored three runs or less in six of their last eight ballgames. With no offense and inconsistent starting pitching, it makes for a recipe for disaster as we have seen during this road trip. When will this nightmare finally end?
  • Fister almost perfect. Cleveland did not collect their first hit Saturday night until Ezequiel Carrera tripled with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. And how many times have the Indians seen Fister over the last two seasons? Try eight times. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the opposing pitcher and move on, but in hindsight he is facing the Indians.
  • What if the Indians traded for Fister, and not Jimenez? Sure both teams have different offenses and payrolls, but I always felt the Tribe should have been the team that made the smaller and less noted trade for Fister than go all out for Jimenez. At the time of last year’s trade, any Tribe fan will tell you they liked the gutsy move by the Indians front office (I was one of them) but looking back on things now, the trade Detroit made for Fister seems like a trade the Indians should have made in the end. And if that wasn’t enough, Fister is now 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA in his last nine starts against Cleveland, walking eight and striking out 51 over 62 2/3 innings.
  • No quality start from Jimenez. Just like the offense, the starting pitching troubles continued on Saturday as well. Jimenez was shaky all game and is now the sixth Indians starter over the last eight games to give up six or more earned runs in a game. Absolutely unacceptable.
  • Tigers swinging hot bats. Detroit got their leadoff man on in six of their eight innings on Saturday, and also banged out 10 hits. It was also the fourth time in the last five games and seventh time in the last nine that the Indians gave up double-digit hits in a game.
  • No momentum early in the ballgame. Through the first eight games of the road trip, the Indians have been outscored 20-4 in the first and second innings. Talk about losing all momentum coming into a ballgame, especially games on the road.
  • Jhonny Peralta. Coming into the three-game series with Detroit, fans know the Indians need to stop sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in order to have a shot at winning the ballgame. With the Tribe stopping Cabrera on Saturday, in stepped former Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta who went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBI on the night. If there was anyone else on the Tigers that you don’t want to see beat Cleveland, it’s no doubt Peralta.
  • No walks. The Indians did not walk once against Fister on Saturday, who threw 73 of his 107 pitches on the night for strikes. At one point leading all of baseball in walks, the Tribe now sits in second place behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the Major League lead in walks as a team.
  • Are we still all Kipnisses? It’s hard to call out certain players when the entire team is struggling to find themselves again during this eight game losing streak. One player that has set the table for the Indians offense throughout the entire season is Jason Kipnis. Over the last 10 games though, the Tribe second baseman is hitting just .147 (5-for-34) with no homers and four RBI. And over the last 30 games, Kipnis is hitting .238 (19-for-80) with no home runs and eight RBI. So goes Kipnis; so goes the Indians.

The Top Moment

With the Indians collecting just one run on four hits throughout the entire ballgame, the highlight of the night came when Carrera broke up Fister’s Perfect game with a triple in deep center field. The recently called up Carrera is now 4-for-7 (.571) with two triples in his first two games back with the Tribe.

Closing Time

With both the Tribe and White Sox losing last night, Cleveland (50-57) remains 8.5 games in back of Chicago in the Central Division. Indians pitching now has a 8.23 ERA during the eight game losing streak, the team’s highest during a eight game slide since 1987.

Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will try and avoid losing a season-high nine consecutive games in the series finale on Sunday, as it will be Chris Seddon (Making his first start in 2012) vs. Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.62 ERA) at 1:05 pm. The lefty Seddon went 11-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 20 starts for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers this season, walking 27 and striking out 108 in 123 innings pitched. At 28 years old, Seddon has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010 where he is 1-2 with a 7.03 ERA in 24 appearances in his Major League career. Scherzer picked up the win in his last start against the Tribe on July 25, going seven innings giving up just two earned runs on three hits in the ballgame.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

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