Second Thoughts: Game #139 Twins 3, Indians 0
By Jim Berdysz
September 9, 2012
|W: C. De Vries (5-5) L: Z. McAllister (5-7) S: G. Perkins (11)
Player of the Game: Cole De Vires (6 innings 4 hits 0 ER 1 BB 2 SO)
The Indians offense could not get anything rolling on Saturday as the Tribe was held in check by Minnesota and Twins starter Cole De Vires, getting shutout 3-0. The loss puts Cleveland at a season low 21 games below the .500 mark.
Cleveland starter Zach McAllister struggled for his third straight outing, going just three innings giving up two earned runs on three hits. The problem for McAllister was his pitch count as he threw 87 pitches in just three innings, walking three Twins hitters.
The Bottom 9.
- Shutout by Minnesota. For the second time this season, the Tribe was shutout by the last place Twins. The Indians looked nothing like the team that scored seven runs on 12 hits against the same Minnesota team the previous game on Friday.
- No consistent offense. Just when the Indians offense finally turns the corner with an offensive explosion on Friday, the team goes right back into their dreadful offensive woes that they have dealt with throughout the second half of the year. Not many teams can say they have been shutout by the Twins, let alone twice in the same season.
- Scoring three runs or less…again. The Tribe scored three runs or less yesterday for the fifth time over the past six games, and in 15 of the last 19 games.
- Third base problems. The Twins held the Tribe in check so much that Cleveland did not have a runner reach third base the entire game. Unacceptable.
- McAllister struggles again. It’s hard to believe, but McAllister was 4-1 with a 3.17 ERA over his first eight starts of the season on July 16. Since then, the Indians right hander has gone 1-6 with a 5.33 ERA over his last 10 starts. While he probably still makes the Tribe starting rotation in 2013, there is no denying McAllister needs to work on some things and finish the season strong.
- Middle of the order letdown. Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley went hitless at the plate going a combined 0-for-13 on the night.
- Cabrera second half woes continue. Going 0-for-4 at the plate on Saturday, Cabrera has now gone hitless over his last three games. The Indians shortstop is hitting just .179 (5-for-28) with three RBI over his last 10 games. Just like last year, Cabrera can’t seem to find any consistency on offense as his average has now dipped down to .269 on the season.
- No extra-base hits. None of the Indians four hits on Saturday went for extra bases, as the team has now been held without a extra base hit for 13 consecutive innings.
- Cut the Cord? I understand it’s September and the Tribe has to see what Minor League talent they have and what players could impact the team’s 2013 roster, but Cord Phelps just is not cutting it. He has gone hitless in his first six at-bats with the Indians and is now just 11-for-77 (.143) in his Major League career. On a team that already has a starting second baseman in Kipnis, and two super utility men in Jason Donald and Brent Lillibridge, this could very well be Phelp’s last shot impacting the team’s roster next season.
The Top Moment
- Canzler extends hitting streak. He may have only had one of the Indians four hits on the night, but that one base hit extended Russ Canzler’s hitting streak to six straight games. There’s no question Canzler looks like he belongs in the Major Leagues, as he should get a shot at winning the Indians starting first baseman job next season.
With the Tribe falling to the Twins Saturday night, Cleveland (59-80) moves one game closer to last place as Minnesota sits two games in back of the Wahoo’s in the Central Division.
Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will try and take the four-game series with the Twins on Sunday, as it will be Corey Kluber (1-3, 4.79 ERA) against Esmerling Vasquez (0-1, 7.94 ERA) at 2:10 p.m. Kluber, coming off his first big league victory against Detroit, last faced Minnesota back on August 7th. The Indians right-hander went a six solid innings versus the Twins, giving up just one earned run on six hits getting a no-decision. Vasquez has made only one start this season, where he yielded five runs on seven hits to the Kansas City Royals over 5 2/3 innings last Sunday.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.