Monday, April 13, 2015

On The Mark 4.13.15: #Indians vs. #Tigers Weekend Recap

Indians swept by the Tigers at home in ugly Home Opener weekend series
By @MarkW2112

Well, Tribe fans, this isn't the way the team nor the fans wanted to start the 2015 season at Progressive Field.  A three game sweep by the hated Detroit Tigers by scores of 8-4 on Friday, 9-6 on Saturday and 8-5 on Sunday.  Let's go over the games.

Friday: The Indians were coming off a very solid 3 games against the Houston Astros, winning 2 of 3.  Opening Day has always been hot or cold for the Indians it seems and this year, it was extremely cold.  The Tigers hitters were just too much for starter Zach McAllister and before you knew it, had blown open a 5-0 lead.  McAllister had a stellar spring training but it appeared he just didn't have it on Friday and was pulled in the 5th after Nick Castellanos 2 run home run.  The Indians were able to get it to 5-3 in the 6th with runs by Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana and Brandon Moss.  However, in the 7th, the Tigers blew it open once again with 3 runs, 2 of them unearned, due to a throwing error by reliever Marc Rzepczynsk.  The Tigers were able to close the door after that though the Indians to get another RBI by Carlos Santana on a double, scoring Michael Bourn.  It was a disappointing Opening Day after the Indians revealed their new renovations including The Corner bar and SRO platforms in right field.

Saturday:  Coming off a disappointing Friday Home Opener, the Tribe looked to get payback against the Tigers on Saturday with Corey Kluber.  Kluber started out rough, giving up 2 runs in the first inning.  But after those runs, he was outstanding, striking out 10.  The Tigers Trevor Price also was outstanding, until the 6th inning.  After loading the bases, Ryan Raburn was able to get a run home with a sacrifice fly to center.  Then, newly acquired outfielder Jerry Sands came to the plate.  After getting to a 3-2 count, Sands crushed a doubled to right center, scoring Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes, making it 3-2.  But, as it always appears, the Tigers were able to get response runs and more.  After Kluber started the 7th and got Nick Castellanos to strike out, Marc Rzepczynsk got 2 on and was replaced by Bryan Shaw who proceeded to give up 3 straight RBI singles to make it 5-3. 
In the bottom of the 8th, Jerry Sands once again delivered a 2 out 2 run double to tie it 5-5.  It was all for naught as Cody Allen, who hadn't pitched since Tuesday, had a horrible inning, giving up 4 runs to put the Tigers in the lead for good.  The Tribe did try to rally in the bottom of the 9th with Jason Kipnis getting an RBI single but the game ended on a Santana ground out for a 9-6 loss.  To make matters worse, the Tribe lost Yan Gomes for 6-8 weeks on a legal slide by Rajai Davis in to Gomes's leg.

Sunday: The Indians were defeated once again by the Tigers for the sweep, this time by a 8-5 margin.  The game belonged to Miguel Cabrara, who along with Victor Martinez seems to own the Indians.  He went 11-for-14, including 2 monster home runs today.  T.J. House only pitched 1 1/3 inning, giving up 6 runs.  Good relief turns by Austin Adams and Shaun Marcum, who hadn't pitched in the majors since July 2013.  The Tribe did get 5 runs but it wasn't enough to overcome the now 6-0 Tigers.

My Take:  it was an ugly 3 game series for the Indians, one they would like to put behind them ASAP.  The Tigers were too much for them offensively and while they were able to try and battle back all weekend long, the Tigers would always respond.  It's still very early in the season but the Indians must work out their problems both with their 4 and 5 starters as well as their bullpen.  It does appear that the hitters are starting to zone in but the loss of Yan Gomes is huge.  Someone, either on the team now or in the minors, will need to step up and try to produce offensively as well as defensively behind the plate.

On Deck:  a 2 game series with the Chicago White Sox starting Tuesday at Progressive Field.  Carlos Carrasco goes Tuesday while Trevor Bauer pitches on Wednesday.

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