Pathetic Performance; Royals 12, Indians 0
By Matt Van Wormer
Optimism was in the air as the lowly Royals came into town Friday after a slugfest with the Boston Red Sox. The Indians had a new outfielder, who was brought in to shore up the outfield defense and provide a spark in the lineup, but the optimism was short lived as the Indians lost, 12-0 Friday evening.
Carlos Carrasco took a bit of the shine off that optimism in the top of the first inning. After retiring the game’s first hitter, the Royals got a single from Melky Cabrera and then a home run by Billy Butler made it 2-0 before the Indians could even take a swing.
The Indians did nothing in the bottom of the first and the Royals added to their lead in the top of the second inning. Alex Gordon took a bad pitch deep into the seats with two outs to give Kansas City a 3-0 lead. Things got ugly in the top of the fourth when the Royals piled on with Cabrera hitting a grand slam. It got even uglier on the very next pitch, when Carrasco threw directly at Butler’s head, coming very close to hitting him. It was a classless move by Carrasco, and he was immediately ejected.
The bullpens emptied, and Carrasco chirped to the Kansas City bench while being escorted off the field by Indians’ coaches. But cooler heads prevailed when Lou Marson got between Butler and Carrasco preventing any punches from being thrown. Chad Durbin came in for his usual mop-up duties and got the Tribe out of the inning.
After that, Jeff Francis was able to work his pitches all around the strike zone, keeping Indians hitters off balance with his mix of breaking balls. He was a completely different pitcher than the one the Indians faced on April 27. The Indians scattered a few hits here and there but weren’t able to string anything together to get back in the ballgame, while the Royals tacked on runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth to go on to a 12-0 victory. In fact, the sixth was the only inning that the Royals were retired in order.
In a game against a team they should beat and one that the Indians desperately needed to win to stay on pace with the Tigers in the Central Division, they could not rise to the occasion. Instead, they gave up a hit to every starter in the Royals’ lineup. The Tribe now finds themselves two and a half games out of first and only a half game up on the White Sox for third place. They looked like a team searching for answers in all the wrong places. If they don’t turn it around soon, they will be sitting at home when October comes around.