It's often said of young teams that they are streaky. They are plagued by inconsistency, have some growing pains, and have to get used to the rigors of the season. The 2012 Indians are streaky. In a losing sort of way. By falling to the Texas Rangers 5-2, the Indians' latest skid reached five games, making it the fifth such streak this season. The second half has featured an 11-game losing streak, a nine-game losing streak, a six-game losing streak, and this current five-game skid. With the loss to the Rangers, the Indians lost yet another series in the second half. They have won just two of the 18 series that they have played in the second half.
The game didn't exactly start the way the Indians wanted it to. Ryan Dempster struck out the side in the top of the first and the Indians were down 3-0 by the time they came to the plate again. Ian Kinsler began the game with a double off Jeanmar Gomez, went to third on an Elvis Andrus single, and scored on a Josh Hamilton fielder's choice. With Hamilton aboard, Adrian Beltre hit one deep into the Texas night for a two-run homer to put the Rangers ahead 3-0. Beltre would later leave the game with a shoulder strain, but he was 1-for-1 with the home run and a walk. For the season, Beltre is hitting .522 with five home runs and nine RBI against the Indians.
The Indians put together a two-out rally in the second with back-to-back singles from Lonnie Chisenhall and Casey Kotchman, but the rally ended there. Gomez gave up single runs in the third and fourth before giving way to reliever David Huff. In the third, Hamilton hit a majestic bomb to deep right that right fielder Shin-Soo Choo merely turned around and watched. The Indians scratched out a run of their own in the fourth on a Kotchman fielder's choice. Gomez gave that run right back on a double, a groundout, and a sacrifice fly. Gomez's final line for the game read four innings, allowing five runs on six hits, two of them home runs.
The scoring ended in the sixth when Carlos Santana's sac fly scored Ezequiel Carrera. Too many times this season, the Indians have failed to get run-scoring hits and have settled for sacrifice flies and RBI groundouts. In Wednesday's game, that was the only way that they scored off of Ryan Dempster, who went seven innings, allowing just two runs. A lot of zeroes were put up by the Indians bullpen, with some good relief work from David Huff, Esmil Rogers, and Chris Perez. Again, the story of the night was the starters putting the Indians behind early and the offense never doing enough to catch up.
With the loss, the Indians are now 59-84 and have lost 43 of 58 since the All-Star break. The Rangers inched a game closer to clinching a playoff spot. Jeanmar Gomez was the loser, dropping to 5-8. Ryan Dempster won his sixth game in seven decisions for the Rangers. Joe Nathan notched a very easy save #33.
Stat of the Night: Amazingly, if the Indians manage to win tomorrow's series finale, they will win the season series against the Texas Rangers. The only other teams that they lead in the season series are Detroit, Los Angeles of Anaheim, and St. Louis.
Player of the Game: David Huff? He's looked pretty solid in relief, although, the game is over by the time most of his appearances begin.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians will try to avoid a sweep, and their sixth straight loss, by sending Zach McAllister to the mound against Derek Holland.