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Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from the 4-0 loss to the Cardinals

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(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians offense was unable to get it done, as the bullpen faltered against a Cardinals team that looked get back on track.

Looks like the Cleveland Indians decided to use all of their offensive firepower against their division foes last week. Tonight the Tribe struggled to get any hits. This was a game that was reminiscent of the Tribe’s struggles they dealt with for much of late May and early June.

So the Redbirds snap the Tribe’s win streak and the Cardinals earn their 10,000th franchise victory. Fortunately the Indians decided to drop an inter-league game instead of a crucial division game (haha). Here are the takeaways.

Tribe couldn’t solve John Gant

It figures that the Tribe would decide to make another struggling pitcher look great. John Gant worked seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. Honestly the hit he allowed was a bit of a fluke as the ball kicked off the third base bag, allowing Yan Gomes to get an infield single.

Cleveland went 0-4 with runners in scoring position and couldn’t capitalize on the five walks allowed by Gant. This has been the polar-opposite of how the Indians offense has worked of late. Credit the Cardinals pitching staff for finding a way to slow down the Tribe.

All of the Indians hot hitters were silenced tonight. Only Jose Ramirez got a hit out of the top third of the lineup. There were just four Tribe hits in total.

Mike Clevinger couldn’t find his command

Earlier today, I talked about how Mike Clevinger seems to be throwing less balls and finding his control. Naturally, Clevinger threw 36 balls and was pulled with 98 pitches in the sixth inning. It’s funny how life works. So Clevinger earns his third loss.

Clevinger allowed six hits and two runs in his outing tonight. He was all over the plate: hanging curveballs, not finding the height to his fastball. It wasn’t a good night for the kid. Fortunately this is just one game. We’ve seen Clevinger is capable rebounding from bad losses. Hopefully he can do the same after this game.

Something, something, bullpen allowing runs

This was the prototypical Indians loss. The starting pitcher bends allowing a few runs. The offense doesn’t give the starter run-support, and the bullpen allows even more runs. Same ole’ story.

Zach McAllister had been pitching fairly well since May. So instead of continuing that trend, McAllister came out and allowed a run, granted it was in two innings of work. Sorry, Zach; we need someone to point fingers at.

George Kontos then came in and promptly allowed the fourth run on two hits. This was the first run he allowed as a member of the Tribe bullpen. It’s not something to hold against him, but his 8.10 ERA in the month of May with Pittsburgh is alarming.

It seems like these types of games always happen when I’m working the recap. Someone make it stop.

Next: A look back at the Jake Westbrook trade

To the honest, this just wasn’t a fun game. The Cardinals scored the old fashioned way; with clutch hitting, and there Indians didn’t have an answer for it. This team is still hot and their capable of bouncing back. Let’s hope that’s the case. We’ll get them next time.

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