Well, every team has a game like this. Some teams have many games like this. It is how a team bounces back that defines what kind of a team they are.
The Boston Red Sox blasted Mitch Talbot (1-1, 5.87 ERA) for seven runs in the first inning and never looked back, also knocking around Frank Herrmann pretty hard and crushing the Indians 14-2 in the final game of this six-game homestand, which must be seen as a success at 4-2, even if it ended with two losses in a row.
The recipient of the Boston outburst was Jon Lester, who lowered his ERA to 3.36 while running his record to 7-1.
Lester is no stranger to such games — in his start prior to this one, the Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 15-5.
There were two bright spots for the Tribe today. One was the work of the quartet of relievers after Herrmann: Chad Durbin, Tony Sipp, Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano combined for 3.2 scoreless innings and cumulatively only allowed two hits. And that was against a Boston lineup which only had one substitution for the day.
The other bright spot was the only hit that scored runs for the Tribe — a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth from Shelley Duncan.
The dark spots? Oh, there were many.
The Red Sox collected 20 hits on the game, led by Carl Crawford, who went 4-for-4. Jacoby Ellsbury and Drew Sutton (who had a cup of coffee with the Indians in 2010) had three hits apiece, while Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each had three RBI.
Want more? Boston blasted four homers, with Pedroia hitting his third of the season off of Talbot, and David Ortiz blasting his 10th, Saltalamacchia his 4th and Crawford his third, all off of Herrmann, whose ERA climbed to 11.42 after allowing six hits and six runs in 2.1 innings.
Talbot, who was making only his third appearance of the season, went three innings, surrendering 12 hits and eight runs.
Oh, and one more thing: Shin-Soo Choo made two errors in right field.
But games such as this one happen, and now the Indians have a day off to collect themselves before taking on the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night in Florida.
The Detroit Tigers, who climbed to within 5.5 games of the Indians with the Tribe’s loss, were in a rain delay in Detroit in the third, leading Tampa Bay 2-0, but with the game not official as of yet. If the game resumes and the Tigers win, the Indians will lead by five; if the Rays can come back and win, Cleveland would lead by six full games.