Indians 3, Tigers 2: Letdown, setback, and the curse of Cleveland

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 03: Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians slides home and scores on the passed ball as pitcher Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers covers the plate during the first inning of the game at Comerica Park on September 3, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Final - 9.3.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Cleveland Indians 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3
Detroit Tigers 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

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You have to admit, you saw this coming. You did see this coming, right? These Tigers do not do well with success. Win a bunch of games, get swept by the Royals. Sweep the White Sox to move into first place ... lose to the Indians.

But it's not just that. It's the inconsistent offense. This has nothing to do with Jim Leyland resting Austin Jackson or anything else. The Tigers' lineup is so inconsistent with scoring runs that you always expect the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Six of the last 12 games, the Tigers have been held to three runs or less. Unsurprisingly, they've lost four of those contests.

Monday, they just didn't get a lot of baserunners. At one point between the fourth and seventh innings, Indians pitchers retired 10 consecutive Tigers.

Big Al does bullet points. I want try a few.

  • The Tigers have the pitching to win the division. If they fail to do so, the lineup has to draw the blame. Obviously, it's a little too early to talk like that. But I'm constantly amazed how often the Tigers score only a trickle of runs.
  • I am not amazed that a leadoff double in the ninth inning was stranded.
  • It's definitely a frustrating team and it will probably remain that way for the rest of the season.
  • That Anibal Sanchez pitched six innings is kind of amazing considering his pitch count seemed to rocket to 100 within the first handful of innings. Still, allowing two runs (neither of them earned) in six innings is a fairly decent start. Not great, but not bad. I can't pin the loss on him.
  • Delmon Young has been accounting for a lot of the Tigers' offense lately. He drove in a run with a single, and he later scored after a leadoff double.
  • The other amazing thing about this season is just how well the Indians have handled the Tigers. Cleveland won the first five games of the season series and now lead it, 8-5. It's like the Indians have some sort of Kryptonite.
  • Unfortunately, in a division hunt this close, they could really relish spoiling things. Let's hope they don't like the White Sox, either. Unfortunately, even if they do, their season-series with Chicago doesn't reflect it yet. But there's time for change.


Delmon Young -- It's like he's in every roar. Or I'm overcompensating. Either way.

Brayan Villarreal -- 1 2-3 innings of relief, facing the minimum of five batters

Prince Fielder -- Had a hit, but his start of the double play to get out of the ninth without allowing any runs was nice


Offense -- Obvious

Cleveland -- Also obvious

Doing recaps -- The Tigers have now lost four games in a row that I've done the recaps. I think the problem might be me, guys.


Jusin Verlander, though Delmon gave him a good run

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