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Indians Indians Archive Game 73 Recap: Indians Lose Four Straight for First Time in 2012
Written by Adam Burke

Adam Burke

wisefoulballDown by multiple runs early, and looking like a defeated team, the Indians guaranteed themselves a series loss to the New York Yankees and are staring directly in the face of a sweep at the hands of the best team money can buy. At least tonight’s pain went relatively quickly as the game was into the sixth by 8:40 p.m., which, in Yankee Stadium game time is like 7:45 p.m. in another ballpark with a different host team. The Indians lost 6-4 and the final score looks a lot closer thanks to some unexpected ninth inning offense.

There’s nothing good that can be said about the Indians last four games, except maybe that no Indians were hurt in the making of this four-game losing streak. The totals are ugly. The Indians have single runs in three of the last four games and had just one run for eight innings on Tuesday night. The at bats have been as ugly as they sound. Even the Indians last win, they scored just two runs on just four base hits. They have allowed 26 runs, 18 of them by the starting pitchers during this skid. During this stretch, the Indians have been out-homered 8-2.

Young teams are prone to streaks and inconsistencies. Since the start of June, the Indians have lost two of three (MIN), won four of six (DET/STL), lost five of six (CIN/PIT), won four straight (CIN/HOU) and lost four straight (HOU/NYY). The Indians are desperate for consistency. They’ve been consistent in their last four games. They can’t hit or pitch. Tuesday night was no different.

Shin-Soo Choo walked to lead off the ballgame, but got no further as the middle of the Indians order continued to struggle. Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for his last-18, Jason Kipnis is 4-for his last-25, and Carlos Santana is 3-for his last-22. Only Kipnis hit the ball reasonably hard, as Cabrera and Santana popped out.

Justin Masterson looked pretty sharp in the first inning. He retired the first two hitters before walking Alex Rodriguez and then getting Robinson Cano to bounce back to the mound. The Indians went in a hurry in the second and that opened the door for the Yankees to, again, do damage with the bottom of their order.

Masterson erased a leadoff walk by inducing a Nick Swisher fielder’s choice. After Raul Ibanez flew out, Dewayne Wise picked up where he left off on Monday and singled to prolong the inning. Chris Stewart hit a masse shot down the third base line that Jack Hannahan got a glove on, despite being caught in-between and failed to get any of the runners, even allowing Swisher to score after the ball deflected off his glove into foul territory. Derek Jeter singled to extend the inning further and Curtis Granderson drove in two with a single. A-Rod grounded out to end the inning but the insurmountable second inning lead was 3-0.

The Indians continued to beat their heads against the wall in the third. After back-to-back singles to start the inning from Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall, the Indians had something going. After Choo hit into a double play and Cabrera lined out to a semi-sliding Nick Swisher in right to end the inning with another zero on the scoreboard.

On the bright side, Masterson settled down in time to keep the Indians in the game as much as he could with their inept offense. He allowed just a bloop single to left in the fourth while getting through the third and fourth unscathed. Phil Hughes, of course, went unscathed as well.

In the fifth, the Yankees put the game out of reach by scoring one run. Granderson led off with a walk and went first-to-third on a one out single from Cano. Mark Teixeira drove Granderson in with a sacrifice fly and the Yankees went up 4-0. For his part, very few balls were hit hard off Masterson. They were just well-placed . It wasn’t as if he got knocked around during his start, but every bounce that goes the other team’s way is magnified a million times over when your offense can’t produce.

In the sixth, the Indians got another chance. After Chisenhall popped out leading off the inning, Choo and Cabrera both singled. The rally ended abruptly due to strikeouts from Kipnis and Santana and another opportunity went by the wayside. Masterson came out and threw a perfect bottom of the sixth to finish on a positive note.

Michael Brantley led off the seventh with a double. Desperate for a hit with a runner in scoring position, the Indians got a weak roller to first from Johnny Damon, a lazy fly ball to shallow right from Casey Kotchman, and a “foul out” from Jack Hannahan. Hannahan lofted a fly ball down the left field line and Dewayne Wise went flying into the stands to attempt to catch the ball. After lying on the ground for a few seconds, he got up, with the ball in his glove and third base umpire Mike DiMuro ruled Hannahan out. On replay, the ball clanked off Wise’s glove and it appeared that a fan put the ball into Wise’s glove. Frankly, the play wasn’t even all that close and shame on DiMuro for making the out call. Even if he had caught it, the long delay on the ground and the unlikelihood that he held on while falling into the stands made it easy to call the ball a non-catch. In any event, Hannahan was out, and would have his say later on.

Tony Sipp came on in the bottom half of the seventh and, as expected, he gave up a run. With one out, A-Rod hit a tape measure shot to right that he watched as if it was a critical blast in a close game to extend the lead to 5-0. On the positive side, Sipp retired Granderson and Cano, the two lefties, and got switch hitter Teixeira on a weak ground ball.

The Indians went rapidly in the eighth. Hannahan went rapidly in the bottom of the eighth. Hannahan, going to take his position at third base, let umpire Mike DiMuro know that he made a bad call. Hannahan did not appear to be the aggressor during the exchange, but DiMuro ejected him anyway. Jose Lopez took over at third and had a bird’s eye view of Nick Hagadone’s latest bad outing. Swisher singled to open the inning and Andruw Jones, pinch hitting for Ibanez, followed with a single of his own, sending Swisher to third. Santana allowed a ball to go through his glove and Jones went to second. Wise struck out swinging for the first out, but Stewart lofted a fly ball to left which Damon came up with his bazooka left arm ready to fire and gunned(!!) out Swisher....

Just kidding, Swisher scored without a throw. Jeter followed with an infield single very deep in the hole at short but Hagadone buckled down and got Granderson to end the inning.

In the ninth, Jason Kipnis led off with a double, advanced to third with one out, and was driven in by the Johnny Damon Special – a bloop single to center with two outs. Kotchman battled to keep the game going, singling up the middle after a nice at bat. Lopez, the replacement for Hannahan, teed off on a Cory Wade fastball for a three-run homer to make the final look better at 6-4. Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to his closer Rafael Soriano, who threw one pitch to Lonnie Chisenhall and got a save.

Justin Masterson took the loss today, although it should be pinned on the Indians offense again. Masterson dropped to 4-7 and saw his ERA move back up to 4.09. Hughes was the winner, going to 8-6 on the season.

With the loss, the Indians fell to 37-36 and could drop to 1.5 games back in the Central Division. The White Sox were up 2-0 on Minnesota at time of post.

Stat of the Night: The Indians haven’t had three consecutive hits in an inning since June 18. That’s a span of seven games.

Stat of the Night Pt. 2: With the loss, the Indians lost four consecutive games for the first time this season. They entered play tonight as one of only two AL teams to not lose four straight. The Yankees are the other.

Player of the Game: Let’s go with Jack Hannahan, for being the only Indians position player to show an ounce of care for the first eight innings on Tuesday night. He didn’t do much with the bat or the glove, but he got ejected, and that’s always exciting. Plus, his ejection got Lopez into the game, who hit the three-run homer in the ninth.

Tomorrow’s Game: The Indians get to face a lefty tomorrow. Andy Pettitte takes the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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