Cleveland Indians Fall to Cardinals on Carpenter’s Late Blast

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Tribe bullpen waste solid start from Bauer in loss

The conversation about the proper time to remove a starting pitcher will continue to be the tak for the Cleveland Indians and their fans this weeks. Following yesterday’s spectacular outing from

Corey Kluber

in which he was pulled in the eighth, Tribe starter

Trevor Bauer

was pulled after a lead-off walk in the inning before Mark Rzepczynski gave up a two-run shot to

Matt Carpenter

. That would turn out to be the deciding blow as they dropped the finale 2-1 to the Cards.

The Carpenter home run wasted a solid start from Bauer, who didn’t factor in the decision but was charged with a run as the lead off walk  to Peter Bourjos was his responsibility. The wasted pitching performance is disheartening, but it was a lack of offense that is the biggest concern. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha has been spectacular this season, and the no-decision leaves his perfect record intact. But all the Tribe could muster was a Michael Brantley home run in the sixth, and that was it. Nick Swisher‘s struggles at the plate were apparent, as he struck out all four plate appearances.

But Swisher can’t be the only one that we point out, as Jose Ramirez continues to be awful with the bat, and Carlos Santana went hitless as well while leaving three men stranded. The improved starting pitching is great to see, but if they don’t figure things out at the plate, there will be a whole lot more outcomes like this before all is said and done. Rzepczynski (1-1, 5.19) took the loss, and hasn’t had the same effectiveness he did last year. Not many of those in the bullpen have for that matter. Which makes the offensive woes more concerning. They can’t be relied on to hold off opponents.

What Stood Out

Matching Kluber’s performance was going to be difficult, but Bauer gave it a solid go. 7 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and only four hits. The run was charged to him but allowed by Rzepczynski on the Carpenter home run. With Danny Salazar, Kluber and Bauer pitching like this, the Tribe can come back in this race, but only if the offense can rectify its issues.

What’s Next

The Indians travel to Texas to take on the Rangers this weekend. Soft tossing Bruce Chen (0-1, 13.50) hopes to improve on a terrible first start, while the Rangers will counter with veteran Wandy Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70). First pitch will be at 8:05 pm ET.

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