Different day, different problems for Indians
The Indians lost to Pittsburgh 9-5 on Sunday. It was the Indians' seventh loss in their last 10 games. They seem to be having breakdowns in different areas every day.
Sunday it was the defense, as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera committed three errors, including two on one play, which gift-wrapped eight of the nine runs scored by the Pirates. Ironically, Cabrera is one of the Indians' best defensive players.
He came into Sunday's game having made just three errors all year. Then he made three errors in one game. Those errors, the Indians' shaky defense and the usual lack of hitting all led to the Indians losing two of three games to the Pirates.
The further the Indians get into the season, the more apparent it becomes that they have to play at very near peak efficiency in order to have a chance to win on a given day. Any breakdown in any area makes it very difficult for them to win.
Simply put, they don't have the roster depth of many of the teams expected to be contenders for the postseason. If one or two key players have a bad game, particularly pitchers, it makes it very difficult for the Indians to win.
The Indians are also struggling in interleague play. They have lost eight of the 12 interleague games they have played this year. Most recently they lost two of three to Cincinnati and two of three to Pittsburgh. That does not bode well for the Indians, who begin another three-game series vs. Cincinnati on Monday night.
Cabrera comes up short in the field
--SS Asdrubal Cabrera had a nightmarish game Sunday in the Indians' 9-5 loss to Pittsburgh. Cabrera made three errors, two on one play, which directly led to eight of the nine runs Pittsburgh scored. "A really bad day for me," said Cabrera. The last Indians shortstop to make three errors in a game was Ramon Vazquez, vs. the White Sox, on June 11, 2006.
--2B Jason Kipnis hit his team-leading 11th home run and stole his team-leading 17th base on Sunday. Kipnis has stolen 15 consecutive bases without getting thrown out.
--OF Michael Brantley's 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors this year, was snapped Saturday when he went 0-for-3 with a walk. Brantley hit .337 during the streak, raising his batting average from .255 to .284. "He's in a good spot now with the bat," manager Manny Acta said.
--OF Johnny Damon drew a walk in the sixth inning Saturday, the 1,000th walk of his career. Damon is the 114th player in history to reach 1,000 career walks.
--LHP Tony Sipp, one of the most dependable arms in the bullpen the last two years, has been in a season-long slump. Sipp, who was 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 69 appearances last season, is 0-2 with a 6.95 ERA in 29 appearances this year. Asked what he can do to help Sipp get back on track, manager Manny Acta said, "Keep pitching him. Not pitching him is not going to help."
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Number of consecutive at-bats from June 14 to 15 in which OF Shin-Soo Choo either hit a home run (two) or struck out (five).
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He showed his human side today." -- Manager Manny Acta, on SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who made three errors, including two on one play, in the Indians' 9-5 loss to the Pirates.
--DH Travis Hafner (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. He had surgery May 31 to repair a frayed meniscus, and he will be out until late June or early July.
--LHP Rafael Perez (strained left lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 26.
--OF Grady Sizemore (back surgery in March 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He was cleared to begin baseball activities in late April and took live batting practice May 16. His rehab was slowed again in early June, and there was no timetable for his return.
--RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. He might miss the entire season.