CLEVELAND - The Indians are in a serious rut after falling at home Thursday to the Chicago White Sox 10-4, in a game that upon it's first pitch at 7:11pm saw Chicago take a 1-0 lead on a Tim Anderson homer off Josh Tomlin.
It was a long night for the Tribe, as despite pounding out 13 hits they once again had major issues with runners in scoring position, and left 11 men on base in the six-run loss
Since winning their first three in Texas against the slumping Rangers, the Tribe has lost five of their last six with the only win against the Sox on opening day at Progressive Field.
With the Tigers coming in for the weekend we take a quick look back at the final game which drops the Indians under .500 for the first time this season at 4-5 in our three takeaways from the loss.
1. Tomlin Terrible From the Start
Indians starter Josh Tomlin didn't have much time to try and find a groove based on the fact that Tim Anderson deposited his first pitch in the stands for a quick 1-0 lead on Thursday night.
The numbers for the Tribe fourth starter are alarming to say the least after just two games. 0-2, an ERA of 18.47, 6.1 innings pitched, 13 runs on 15 hits with two homers.
Consider last season when he began the year 2-0 with wins over the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers, he threw 11.2 innings in the two games, allowing two runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts.
Both manager Terry Francona and Tomlin used the word 'leaked' when describing the pitchers throws coming back over the plate, meaning it had to be something both noticed was going awfully wrong during the outings.
We saw how bad Tomlin was last August, and he was able to turn it around to end up throwing as the teams' number two guy all through the postseason.
He said after the game he'd be right back at it at the park Friday looking to get things right. Let's hope that happens in his next start scheduled for Wednesday in Minnesota.
2. RISP = BAD for the Indians
The dreaded 'runners in scoring position' stat reared its ugly head again for the Indians on Thursday, as the team left 11 men on base, and it seemed again like each time they had a shot to get back in the game, they couldn't come through with the clutch hit.
In this entire series they were awful with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-26, a number that shows just how many shots they had to come up with a big hit, and showed maybe how fortunate they were to get one win out of the three.
On the season, the team is 12-for-77 (.155) with runners in scoring position, which is going to find the team on a lot of losing efforts if that number doesn't improve greatly.
If the team doesn't start getting that number up, losing two of three is going to be the least of their worries.
3. You Know It Can't Be Going Good When Michael Martinez is Pitching
With Josh Tomlin only lasting 1.2 innings, you knew it was going to be a LONG night for the pen, and by the ninth inning manger Terry Francona decided to go with a position player to hopefully get three outs and get the night over with.
Enter Michael Martinez.
Yes, the utility player who made the last out in the World Series took the mound in what was a rather funny scene at Progressive Field, but give him credit he threw a scoreless rather fast inning that brought the few fans that were left in the stands to their feet.
Martinez is the first position player to pitch in a game for the Indians since Chris Gimenez did it on August 27th of last season.
Francona made a good point in the postgame, saying he'd rather have Martinez out there than wasting an inning for a guy like Bryan Shaw in a game that was basically already decided.