Covering the Bases: Game 10
Mariners 4, Indians 1
FIRST: …and foremost, Derek Lowe just didn’t have it tonight. The big right-hander’s sinker went flat and he labored through 113 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. He walked six and allowed eight hits, but limited the damage to just four runs surrendered.
“That’s hard to do,” Lowe said about that bit of silver lining.
Still, Seattle hasn’t been kind to Cleveland’s sinkerballers the past two games. Justin Masterson and Lowe combined to allow 12 runs on 15 hits with 10 walks in eight innings of work in the first two tilts of this three-game set at Safeco Field.
Josh Tomlin tosses in the finale on Thursday. He’s not a sinkerballer, so he’s got that going for him.
SECOND: On the other side of the coin, Seattle left-hander Jason Vargas tamed the Tribe’s offense to the tune of one run allowed over seven innings of work. Manager Manny Acta tried to load the lineup with some righties — Jason Donald, Carlos Santana, Shelley Duncan, Jose Lopez and Aaron Cunningham were all in (Asdrubal Cabrera remains away from the team and on the bereavement list) — but it didn’t do much good. As always, I’ll throw the SAMPLE SIZE ALERT disclaimer in here, but it’s worth noting that the Indians are hitting jusy .219 (40-for-183) against left-handed starters so far this season.
THIRD: In each of the past four games, the Indians had an inning that included at least five runs scored. It’s the first such streak of big innings for the Tribe since May 27-30, 1921. Well, a fifth game in a row with that kind of outburst just wasn’t in the cards. Cleveland had one prime scoring chance: bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning with Vargas on the hill and momentarily in search of the strike zone. He settled back in, struck out Duncan, got a groundout from Lopez and escaped unscathed.
HOME: The long ball was all the rage for the Tribe over its first nine games of the season. Cleveland had at least one homer in each game over thag span, which was tied for the second-longest homer streak to begin a season for the franchise, dating back to 1918. In the third inning, Cunningham sent a pitch from Vargas off the top of the wall in left field for what looked like a home run at first. It was ruled a double and, alas, an official review confirmed as much. There’s always tomorrow.
Indians (5-5) at Mariners (7-6)
10:10 p.m. ET Thursday at Safeco Field