Tiger Mauling; Tigers 10, Indians 1
By Cody Gunselman
That’s it. You can throw in the towel. The “Here we go Brownies” chants can officially start. With their backs against the wall in a must win situation, the Indians refused to show up for the biggest game of the year. With an embarrassing 10-1 loss Tuesday night, the Indians fell 8.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers.
Just when Tribe fans were thinking Fausto Carmona may have returned to his all-star form of a season ago, he reverted back to his early 2011 ways. Carmona started off the game looking sharp, recording two quick outs before surrendering a walk to Delmon Young. Miguel Cabrera singled to set up the inning for disaster. The debacle began when Carmona balked and sent the runners to second and third.
As if a balk wasn’t embarrassing enough, Fausto proceeded to surrender hits to the next 6 Detroit hitters. Carmona allowed his typical snowball inning, which has become more of his signature trademark than his sinking fastball. When all was said and done the Indians had dug themselves a 5 run hole after just one inning.
Carmona didn’t fare any better in the top of the second. He was only able to record one out before giving up a line drive RBI double to slugger Miguel Cabrera, before Manager Manny Acta had seen enough. Fausto had been chased after allowing 7 runs on 8 hits in just an inning and a third of work. Long relief specialist Chad Durbin wasn’t much better, surrendering walks to the first two batters he faced and then giving up a run on a wild pitch. After two, the scoreboard read 8-0 bad guys.
Tribe fans can complain all they want about how poorly Fausto Carmona pitched, but the fact of the matter is that you can’t expect to beat the division leaders by scoring one run. Yes, the offense was put into a situation where their starting pitcher went out and dug them a huge hole, but still the Indians offense is pathetic and has been for a long time now. After getting shelled in his previous start against the Tribe, Tigers’ starter Rick Porcello kept the Indians off balance all night, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits in six and a third innings.
As dismal and disappointing of a performance this was by the Indians in a pressure packed, must win game, there are some good things that can be taken away from it. One bright spot is recent September call-up Nick Hagadone, who looked much better than he did in his first major league appearance. Hagadone tossed two strong, scoreless innings by spotting a mid-90s fastball to some of Detroit’s more powerful hitters.
Tuesday night’s game also featured the return of second basemen Jason Kipnis, who picked up right where he left off before going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, by lining a single into left in his first at bat. The Indians lone run came from KosukeFukudome, who stayed scorching hot by hitting his second home run in as many nights. Fukudome has been virtually the Tribe’s best player since coming over in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. He continues to show that the Indians’ front office needs to consider keeping him around come next season.
The Indians are mathematically still in this race, but losing a series to the division leading Tigers in their home ballpark has put a huge damper on what could have been a series that helped the Indians gain some ground. Unfortunately, the time has come where we need to start using the “wait til next year” saying us Cleveland fans are all too familiar with.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images