May Has His Day With Tribe; Twins 7, Indians 2
Mike B. | On 19, Apr 2015
Did the Tribe Win Last Night? No! The Twins made the most of a three-run second inning, putting T.J. House in a major hole and Torii Hunter put the exclamation mark on a 7-2 victory with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, sending the Tribe to a series loss.
Minnesota took control of the game early and used it to coast to an easy victory. The Tribe’s poor defense again reared its ugly head and did the Indians no favors. It was a game that made you quickly turn to watch the Cavs playoff game.
Trevor May tossed six innings, allowing just a run and four hits versus the Tribe to send them to their seventh loss in their first 11 games.
Key Inning: Bottom of the second inning. After a three-up, three-down first inning, the Twins attacked House in the second frame. Kennys Vargas walked and Trevor Plouffe doubled to set the table in the inning. After Kurt Suzuki walked, the bases were loaded. Oswaldo Arcia hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Vargas and give the Twins an early 1-0 lead.
Edwin Escobar singled to right center field, plating Plouffe. Brandon Moss, for the second time in three days, made an ill-advised throw to the plate and missed the cutoff man. Shane Robinson hit a grounder to shortstop, but Jose Ramirez botched the ball and everyone was safe as Suzuki scored and made it 3-0.
Brian Dozier struck out swinging and Hunter flied to left field, but the damage was done. The 3-0 deficit was too much for the Indians to overcome.
Player of the Game: Trevor May. Despite Robinson’s 3-for-4 effort, May’s ability to stifle the Tribe seems to not be a new problem for this season that still exists from last year. Suddenly the Indians problems to score runs seems like an old storyline just brought into a new book or season.
They Said It: “I thought coming out his stuff was flat. It looked like he was a little sluggish,” Indians manager Terry Francona said to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. “When TJ is good, he’s got the good two-seam going down in the zone and then off of that comes his breaking ball and the changeup. He didn’t ever really have much of a feel for his changeup.”
Standings: The Indians drop to 4-7 on the season and 5.5 games back of first place Detroit. The Chicago White Sox are also 4-7, tied with the Tribe for last place, while the Twins are a half game ahead of them at 5.0 back.
Etc.: It’s easy to say it is still early, but T.J. House has not fooled anyone in two starts. There is a fine line between being a soft-tossing left-hander, or being 4-A material. The jury is still out on House, but what’s scarier is that the Indians don’t really have a good replacement for him. With Danny Salazar seeming to take Zach McAllister’s spot, and Indians manager Terry Francona placing McAllister firmly in the bullpen, it seems the Tribe have few starting pitching replacements remaining after just 11 games.
Analysis: The Indians and Francona are a “never quit” team, but this three game series upcoming versus the Chicago White Sox could really bury one team or the other in the standings. For the veteran, overpriced, White Sox, a poor series could let veterans nestle into their money and accept that they aren’t quite as good as all the hype their free agent frenzy perceived them to be.
For the Indians, while they may never quit, falling seven or eight games back before the calendar hits May could put them in the same place as they were a year ago at 11-17 when the month ends. That deficit was too much to overcome in their late season comeback into the division race.
Up Next: The Indians head to the south side of Chicago on the second leg of their nine-game road trip. Trevor Bauer (2-0, 1.50) takes the mound looking to snap another Tribe skid. John Danks (0-2, 6.97) takes the mound as the next left-hander to potentially trouble the Tribe.
Photo: Getty Images