It might not be time to panic yet in Cleveland, but a few more losses like today's 12-1 drubbing at the hands of the Boston Red Sox and fans might have an entirely different outlook.
Right away on Sunday it became evident that it was not to be Cleveland's afternoon, as Boston quickly loaded up four runs against starter Justin Masterson in the first inning to put the Indians in an immediate hole. Masterson, who yielded an inordinately-high six earned runs over six innings on the day, managed to fan four batters over his final three frames despite the woeful state line. The loss drops him to 1-3 on the year, while his ERA rose to a frustrating 5.40.
Worse yet, Cleveland relief pitcher Dan Wheeler took the mound in the seventh inning of a 6-1 game, and left it after throwing 32 pitches and yielding a whopping six earned runs. The brief outing not only almost doubled Wheeler's season ERA from 4.76 to 8.76, but also likely altered a few opinions in the organization about his ability to get the job done in the late innings.
Offensively though, the Indians couldn't get anything tangible going for yet another game. Youngsters Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis each posted two-hit days, but as many as six starters finished the game hitless for Cleveland. Next up for the Indians is a trip to Central rival Minnesota for a two-game series that opens Monday evening.
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