Yesterday had all the makings of a positive experience for our young Cleveland Indians.
Then, in true Tribe fashion, the bottom completely dropped out. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. With two outs and a man on second base, Valbuena, filling in for the injured (day to day) shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera booted an easy game-winning Aaron Hill groundout right between his legs which allowed the game to continue.
As if we didn’t know what was coming next.
DH Adam Lind, who had just one hit in the series at the time, hit a Perez high fastball the other way for a two-run homer, crushing the spirit of the 12,000 plus that were in attendance (hey, its an improvement over the weeknight crowds we’ve seen lately) and giving the Jays a 5-4 win.
Now, the quotes from the offenders:
“It’s a routine groundball. I don’t have an excuse for that. If I make a play, the game is over. Now we lose.” – Luis Valbuena
“I’m totally to blame for this. It’s easy to try to blame it on Valbuena. But the truth is, I didn’t make pitches when I needed to. It’s totally my fault. Luis didn’t make those pitches. I did.” – Chris Perez
“A groundball is a groundball. He played enough shortstop here last year, he just made an error at the wrong time. You feel bad for the kid, but we win as a team and we lose as a team.” – Manny Acta on Valbuena
“Tough series, tough homestand so far. Nothing is more discouraging in this game than battling so hard for 8 2/3 innings and then not winning.” – Acta
It is truly amazing to watch a young team shoot themselves in the foot seemingly day after day. “Sour” Luis (readers of WFNY know I have coined Valbuena “Sweet Luis,” but it doesn’t apply today) is rapidly playing his way down to Columbus. He has filled in at shortstop the last two days and has made three errors, two of them were key cogs in the Tribe losses. You can live with physical mistakes if he was hitting, but he isn’t.
Valbuena is currently sitting at .175 with eight RBIs, even with his RBI double in the eighth. Half of his RBIs came with on a grand slam in Detroit. With SS/2B Jason Donald (.323 ) breathing down his neck in AAA, Valbuena is doing himself no favors with his play. Acta seems to be sticking with Luis for now judging from his comments after the game.
“You don’t make a decision after one good play or one bad play,” Acta said. “I wasn’t going to put him in the Hall of Fame after he hit that two-out RBI double in the eighth to put us ahead by two. That’s why in baseball you sit back, you don’t react to a game like this. That’s why we’re not sending guys down after 20, 30 at-bats. These guys need a good opportunity, a certain amount of games, a certain amount of at-bats. Then you can make a decision. We can’t be reacting after every good game or bad game.”
At this point, I’m almost at a loss for words with this team. Acta seems to be very patient and he is trying his best to change the culture, but the losses keep mounting. Little seems to have changed from the final year of “The Grind” other than the fact that Acta plays guys in the positions they actually play. The truth is that this teams lacks talent. But that’s another story for another post.
Amen for the day off. I need it, and so does the team.