Cleveland entered the Interleague stretch half a game behind in the division to the White Sox and the situation is still the same at the end of Interleague play. The next spell of games before the All-Star break will give us a better indication of where Cleveland’s season is heading. With the Yankees coming up in a three game stretch if Cleveland can snatch two games against the Bronx Bombers that will be a good sign that they could threaten in the post season but they will want to turn around the starting pitching that has been hot and cold all season and provide more run support in the early innings.
In the first 3 games against St. Louis the Tribe managed to take two wins. The wins went to go to Tomlin and Pestano, while the only loss was attributed to Masterson although he managed to pitch 7 innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 6 strike outs he definitely didn’t put in a bad showing. The rubber match of the series was decided off the bat of Jason Kipnis when he drilled a 3 run bomb in the top of the ninth then turned the game over to Perez for his 20th save for the year.
The next three games against the Reds were games that Cleveland would wish they never happened. With Lowe, Gomez, Tomlin all recording losses and Cleveland pitching gave up 24 runs over the three games. Reds starter Cueto dominated the Cleveland line-up in his game 1 complete game win. Game 2 went on the back of Lowe but could have been much worse, he gave up 12 base runners but only 3 runs. Cleveland’s inability to convert a loaded bases opportunity with no-one out in the 4th inning really hurt, To only score one run from that position is handing the Reds the victory. Then in game 3 even Choo’s two homers weren’t enough to keep the Reds from sweeping the Tribe, anytime you let a team score 12 runs against you as the Tribe did here in game 3 it’s hard to expect to get a win.
Things looked on the up when Masterson struck out 9 in his 7 shutout inning win over the Pirate’s in game one to snap the 3 game loosing streak. That was the end of Cleveland’s winning ways as the batting line-up had trouble again and also saw the end of Brantley’s 22 game hitting streak which is the longest in the majors this year. The floundering lower half of the line-up was struggling and hasn’t been able to covert the top halves basehits into runs. There was more of the same in game three with the Indians being out scored and out matched.
The Reds returned to Progressive Field and in a game dominated by offence with the tribe getting up in a 10-9 game I think it is safe to say that the runs didn’t come at a premium. Lowe’s troubles continued although getting a no result I think even he would be with that after giving up 7 runs in 5 innings of work. Chisenhall had a day to remember falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Game 2 went into extra innings with Cabrera ending the game with a 2 run walk off blast to end the game in the 10th. Hagadone struggled with control when the pressure was on giving away 2 wild pitches and then gave up the run on an infield single, following this he then managed to give away a 3rd wild pitch, but Cleveland still got the win 2-3. Game 3 was Masterson’s complete game domination of the Reds to sweep them in the series and claim the Ohio Cup. In his 9 innings of work he only managed to give up the one unearned run after Jay Bruce got on base with an error in the 8th. Masterson’s domination of the National League Central’s leader came on the back of 9 strikeouts, 3 hits, 14 Groundball outs, and threw 76 of his 110 pitches for strikes. Masterson’s performance really should be whatever Cleveland pitcher is striving for this year. Cleveland had also taken first place in their division after winning game 2.
With a win in game 1 of the final series of the Inter League series over the Astro’s tied Cleveland’s longest winning streak of 4 games for this season. The win came off the back of Jiminez’s pitching finishing the night after 6 & 2/3 innings of work, with 8 strikeouts; 4 hits; and 2 walks meant Ulbaldo Jiminez picked up his 7th win of the season. Cleveland managed to shut out the Astro’s, which meant there single runs in the first and ninth inning were enough to win the game. What looked like a good start for Gomez in game 2 after being perfect through 4 innings the Astro’s then slapped in 4 runs in the fifth including 2 doubles and 2 homeruns. The Astro’s never looked back after that and went on to win 8-1. Game 3 saw Derek Lowe unable to get back in the win column even though he did put up some good numbers. He pitched 6 & 2/3 innings sat down in order the first 11 batters he faced. He managed 1 strikeout; 1 walk and 8 hits whilst being tagged for single runs in the 4th, 6th and 7th innings. After Lowe’s day was done the Tribe gave up another 4 runs in the 8th inning and the game was over. Although Lowe had done his part to keep them in the game the Cleveland offence didn’t pick up there starter who has been struggling as of late and can’t seem to buy a break. I’m sure Derek is glad this month is almost over and hopefully he can turn things around in July.
The loss to the Astro’s in game 3 saw Cleveland slip back to second for there division half a game behind the White Sox who seem to have had there fire put out in the Inter League series. Although it is a little to early in the season to be scoreboard watching I am sure Cleveland would like to be ahead by the up coming All-Star break with the run they have in to it I think they will still be about 1-2 games behind Chicago but if they can get there offence and defence to play well together on the same day for a couple of games in a row we may just see a surprise before the break.
About the Author
Written by Luke Lovekin
Hi. I’m Luke Lovekin from Sydney, Australia. Ive been in and around sports my whole life. Mostly Baseball but I’ve managed to try my hand at most sports and I’m always keen to learn more about all sports. I have a love for what we call in Australia “Grass Root Sports”. That for us is the local teams each town has and all Junior sports and High School sports and I dedicate as much of my spare time to them as possible without loosing my wife. Feel free to follow me on twitter @Lovekin028. Hope you enjoy my blogs.