Flat is an understatement. Ugly is a better term. Sunday the Tribe squandered nine shut-out innings from ace C. C. Sabathia and managed to lose 1-0 in 12 innings to the Last Place Cincinnati Reds. That left the Tribe with a series loss and a season series split of 3-3 against the hapless Reds.
The Reds were 15 games UNDER .500 when the series started. They have quite possible the WORST bullpen in the National League yet the Indians managed to drop 2 of 3 to them. It just seemed as if something was missing over the weekend. Where as earlier in the season, if the Tribe was down you felt they were gonna come back and win no matter how poorly they were playing. They would fins a way to win.
In Cincinnati, there was a different aura. You never quite got the feeling they were into the series. Dellucci, Hafner and Peralta all struck out in key situations Friday. The Indians got lucky on Saturday but once again a huge strikeout in a key spot as Ryan Garko whiffed with the bases loaded. No clutch hitting whatsoever from the team.
Travis Hafner remains in a funk, get solid contact at times but not finding a hole but looking completely over matched at others. C. C. Sabathia cost himself a victory Sunday by failing to advance to 3rd base on a passed ball that was so far away catcher David Ross he could have skipped to third easily, but no he chose to say put, leaving himself stranded on third after Victor Martinez's single rather than coring the winning run. Jeremy Sowers got a ticket back to Buffalo to sort out his trouble and Matt Miller greeted us with a one pitch cameo to allow the game winning hit.
Not a good start to the meat of the Interleague Play portion of the schedule where the Indians normally thrive. A quick cameo at Jacobs Field for a Snow Game versus Seattle and them off to Florida for 3, site of their last World Series appearance. If they want to make one for the first time in ten years they need to pick it up now, as their lead over Detroit has shrunk to 1 1/2 games.