The Indians had it all right there in front of them when this series against the Tigers began, and now, two games later, this season is as good as over.
No, it is not depression or disappointment talking, but simply common sense. The Tigers are at present the better team, and they are proving it when it matters most — during the stretch run. Injuries have played a part in the Tribe’s fall from serious contention, but Detroit is showing that they know how to win, while Cleveland is just showing that they are going to be heading home for the winter in 22 more days.
Fausto Carmona, after retiring the first two men in the first inning, proceeded to allow six hits and a walk to the next seven batters, and Detroit had a 5-0 lead before The Good Guys ever made it to the plate. When the Tigers added three more in the second off of Carmona and Chad Durbin, this one was all over with 24 outs to go for the Tribe, and Detroit went on to win 10-1, with Rick Porcello — who had been knocked around in his previous two outings vs. Cleveland — shutting down the Indians’ offense for 6.1 innings…plenty enough.
The Tribe managed four hits, and had only three things "good" happen. First, Jason Kipnis returned to the lineup at second base and contributed one of the hits. Second, Nick Hagadone did a good job with two scoreless innings. And third, Kosuke Fukudome homered for the second straight game, giving him three with the Indians.
That’s about it, folks.
And September baseball, which held so much promise not so long ago, looks now as if it will be just playing out the stretch, trying to claim second place in the AL Central and finishing over .500.
The Tigers reduced their magic number to 14 with the win tonight, and will be sending Justin Verlander tomorrow at 12:05 to face Justin Masterson.
Verlander has won 21 games, while it seems as if Masterson should have that many, had the offense been able to give him consistently good run support.
Should be a good game tomorrow, and who knows? The Tribe might be able to surprise and squeeze out one win in this three-game series that began with so much anticipation. But even should they win tomorrow —
It really doesn’t much matter anymore.