The MLB regular season is about 82% complete. There has been a lot of baseball played so far in 2012. There is still a lot more baseball to be played in 2012. All in all, there is just a lot of baseball. You might think that with all of that baseball we would have a pretty good about what is going to happen during a baseball game. That is just not true! We never know what is going to happen in a baseball game.
Back on July 26th, the Cleveland Indians won a baseball game. That win finished off taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers, and put the Indians 3.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. That win on July 26th pushed the Indians to one game over .500. Their season was going about how everyone should have or could have expected it to go. There was really no reason to foresee it not continuing to go that way. Then a funny thing happened – the Indians played 33 more baseball games after that and they only won five of them. In those 33 games, they had separate losing streaks of eleven, nine, and six games. Since July 26th, no team in baseball has had a worse record than the Indians. Not even the Houston Astros!
That is where the Indians were coming into tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers. Losers of 28 of their last 33 games, and 15 of their last 17. During that same stretch, the Rangers had gone 20-14 and placed themselves atop the American League with the best record in the junior circuit.
Hopefully, the picture that is being painted for you is that there was essentially no worse team in the American League than the Indians, and no better team than the Rangers, headed into Saturday’s game.
Then, baseball happened in Cleveland. All of that “momentum”, both positive and negative, was thrown out the window in the first inning when Cleveland jumped on Rangers’ starter Scott Feldman for four runs on four hits and a walk. That is all it took; just that one inning. The Rangers would go on to win or tie the remaining eight innings, but the four run hole that was dug in the first inning became too much to overcome.
Feldman settled down after that first inning, and his next five frames of work were sparkling: two hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts. Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara each pitched a shutout inning of relief. The Rangers’ offense outhit the Indians’ eight to seven, and it was eight to three if you exclude the first inning. The only two home runs hit in the game were by the Rangers: solo shots by David Murphy and Adrian Beltre. For 88% of this baseball game, the Rangers dominated the Indians in a three-hit, 3-0 shutout. But that’s a silly observation, we know that’s not how baseball works, but isn’t it interesting how baseball works?
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