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Cleveland Indians nonexistent on offense once again in 3-1 loss

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians have a serious problem on offense and are now in a must-win situation heading back to Cleveland for Game 3 of the ALDS.

The Cleveland Indians are not looking like a playoff team and are in danger of no longer being a playoff team after falling into a 2-0 deficit in the ALDS.

The Indians offense made Gerrit Cole look like a legend in the 3-1 win for the Houston Astros. Cole finished with 12 strikeouts in seven innings of work. He also allowed three hits, which were the only three hits the Indians picked up all game. It matched the total from Game 1.

The main storyline from this game should be the lack of offense. The pitching staff only allowed three runs. That is not perfect but it is certainly not terrible in any sense.

Let’s talk about the pitching staff, with one decision being another top storyline from the game.

Carlos Carrasco got the start and went 5.1 innings. He put two runners on in the sixth when Terry Francona opted to bring in Andrew Miller.

Miller’s legacy with the Indians is centered around his 2016 postseason performance. Fast forward to today and it was a much different story. Miller immediately allowed a hit that scored two runs and gave the Astros a 2-1 lead. With the way the Indians are playing on offense, that hit let the doom set in.

Trevor Bauer then came in but it was too late at that point.

A Francisco Lindor home run was the only highlight for the Indians in the game. Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera each had a hit, and that was that on offense.

Encarnacion struck out twice, as did Jose Ramirez and Josh Donaldson. So that is six strikeouts from the 3-4-5 hitters. Yan Gomes also struck out twice, while Jason Kipnis had three. That is five strikeouts from the 8-9 spots in the lineup.

The only player without a strikeout for the Indians was Cabrera, but he had a misplay in the outfield that allowed a run to score, so that was his dud play of the game.

I’m at a loss for words. Is the offense dealing with nerves? A lack of real mental and physical preparation? I’m just searching for any answer at this point.

A lot of the blame in this one will fall on Francona for pulling Carrasco, but the blame falls on the offense. Perhaps that does reflect on Francona.

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The Indians are back home on Monday for a must-win Game 3. Mike Clevinger is on the mound and the bullpen will be rested. But if the offense only manages three hits, it won’t matter who pitches.