Summer Ended; Tigers 4, Indians 2
By Mike Brandyberry
Monday the weather cooled, the skies became gray and Cleveland seemed to have the feel that summer had ended on this Labor Day. Just like the weather, the Indians summer also probably came to an end when the Detroit Tigers defeated the Tribe, 4-2.
After three scoreless innings, and nearly a dominant performance by Ubaldo Jimenez, he allowed his first hit, a single to center to Delmon Young. After Miguel Cabrera walked, Victor Martinez sent a three-run home run deep into the right center field seats. It was the only two hits Jimenez would allow over his seven innings of work.
It was all the Tigers would need, however, because Doug Fister had complete control of the Indians lineup. Fister only allowed four hits over eight innings, allowing two runs, one earned and striking out 13. Every Indian struck out at least once in the lineup, except Lonnie Chisenhall.
Fister dominated the Indians, but his error in the bottom of the fifth inning, gave the Tribe life. After Jason Donald singled, Fister threw a pickoff throw down the right field line, allowing him to advance to second. Two ground balls later, he was able to score, cutting the lead to three to one. Kosuke Fukudome’s solo home run in the eighth inning was only other scoring opportunity for the Tribe.
While Jimenez was quite dominant of the Tigers lineup, and it is tough to blame him for the loss, fans can’t be faulted for their frustration with his inconsistent efforts. One has to wonder how many starts Jimenez could have won had he pitched with this effort each start.
The Indians hoped to receive a spark with Grady Sizemore’s return but Sizemore was 0-4 with two strikouts. The Indians continue to lead the American League in strikouts and Sizemore has contributed to the breeze from Progressive Field. Despite Manny Acta’s decision to bat him leadoff, he only has an on-base percentage of .299.
The loss leaves the Tribe 7.5 games behind, with only 24 games remaining on their schedule. If the Indians finished 18-6, the Tigers would have to finish 9-12 to result in a divisional tie. The Indians will begin their final last gasps of AL Central comeback Tuesday evening with Fausto Carmona on the mound versus Rick Porcello.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images