Game #48 Observations: More Head Scratching Decisions as Indians Losing Streak at Eight After 3-2 Loss to Cubs
Laugh, cry, get upset.
Those are just three of the many emotions you can feel following Wednesday night's latest Indians setback, a 3-2 loss in 10 innings at Wrigley Field that puts the losing streak at eight games.
The eight straight losses leaves the team just four games over .500 after having a large cushion just over a week ago.
WKYC's Nick Camino tweeted out that losing eight games in a row during this shortened season is the "equivalent of nearly 22-straight losses in a normal 162 game season."
Yes, the last eight games have been just that bad.
The playoffs remain in sight for the Indians, but now that this latest two-game set with the Cubs is in the books, the team will move on for a weekend wrap-around series in Detroit against the Tigers.
That might be the only good news right now, that being the Indians have had a lot of success the last two seasons against the Tigers.
Right now, that domination over Detroit seems like light years away.
Here's a couple observations from the latest loss from game 48 as the team will look to re-group at Comerica Park Thursday night.
Let's start tonight's "pull your hair out if you have any" observation with how the Indians treated the 10th inning.
The team started with a runner on second per the new rules, and quickly Josh Naylor earned a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second.
Of course you could ask why wasn't Naylor bunting, but that's okay because at least he got on base.
Mike Freeman was up next, and as sure as sugar his bunt was awful - the Cubs easily got the lead runner at third, which meant instead of second and third one out, it was first and second one out.
Next it was Cesar Hernandez, who has been struggling, and of course couldn't get a clutch hit, popping out to shallow center for the second out.
The inning ended with Francisco Lindor coming up with yet another chance to come through swinging at a pitch in the dirt for a strikeout and the third out of the frame.
You talk about moments of a season that can be magnified to represent the entire 60-game season, and this extra inning frame can be it.
No clutch hitting, and the bunting per usual has been awful as it's been the past few seasons.
Makes you want to throw something at the TV - but then again you might as well not destroy a perfectly good television.
Now let's move on and talk about yet another frustrating aspect of the game - the bottom of the 10th inning when the Cubs won the game.
Phil Maton was on the mound when the 10th inning started for the Indians, with the Cubs Ian Happ on second. Maton gave up a lead-off single to the Cubs' Kris Bryant to move Happ over to third base.
From there it was an intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo to load the bases with no outs.
Maton would go on to strike out Will Contreras and Kyle Schwarber, earning two outs and making it look like for just a moment he'd get out of the frame.
Then there was Javier Baez, a free swinger at the plate who Maton got two strikes on.
Instead of staying with the fastball, Maton for some odd reason decided to go off-speed, and Baez stayed back on the pitch, driving it down the left field line for a game-winning hit.
Even Sandy Alomar questioned why Maton went away from the fastball, but by then it's too little too late, and after the former Indians catcher was off to such a great start filling in for Terry Francona as manager, now fans are openly saying there's no way he can be the future skipper of this franchise.
Tame the Kitties
The Indians beating up the Tigers has been more than anyone could have thought of over the last few years, and maybe it's the perfect time to go to Detroit and beat up the Tigers and end this losing streak.
It's been hard to watch the last eight games, but to think that this team is not going to be able to win at least two of the next four in Detroit is something Indians fans don't want to even believe can happen.
The Tigers finally broke the losing streak to the Tribe earlier in 2020, and actually won two of three in Cleveland to make a statement earlier this season.
The Indians on Thursday get a favorable pitching matchup, as the club will go with Shane Bieber, coming off his first loss of the season against the Twins Friday night, against Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85) for the Tigers.
Zach Plesac, Triston McKenzie and Carlos Carrasco all will get starts the rest of the weekend as the Indians attempt to finish their final road trip of the 2020 season on a high note.
If they don't and the losing continues, this team could in fact find itself in complete panic mode for the last seven games at Progressive Field against the White Sox and Pirates looking to sneak back into the postseason picture in the American League.