Game #52 Observations: Indians Drop One to Detroit After Eighth Inning Implosion

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Once again, the Cleveland Indians spent an entire game struggling to score.

Unlike Friday night, though, they weren’t able to luck their way into a win despite that.

Cleveland notched just two runs Saturday. For a while, it seemed as though that would be enough to seal its third straight win, as it spent the bulk of the night maintaining a narrow 2-1 edge.

However, the Tribe bullpen face-planted in the bottom of the eighth, as Phil Maton and Cam Hill combined to give up four runs, all of which were tagged to the former. The late-game outburst was more than enough for Detroit to bring home the 5-2 victory.

Overall, Cleveland’s loss featured several trademarks we witnessed during its recent eight-game funk.

As mentioned, offense was hard to come by, as a third inning RBI double from José Ramírez was the only damage done by Cleveland. The Tribe blew several opportunities to increase the lead, going 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Additionally, interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. made another call which had fans scratching their heads, pulling Nick Wittgren after the reliever breezed through the seventh inning having thrown just 10 pitches.

Said decision was magnified after yet another late-inning collapse thanks to Maton and Hill’s respective rough outings.

The two relievers weren’t the only Tribe pitchers who looked shaky Saturday. Rookie Triston McKenzie also wasn’t terribly sharp, lasting just four innings before being replaced by reliever Cal Quantrill.

This seems like as good a place as any to kick off observations from tonight’s defeat.

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Casey Drottar is a Cleveland Indians writer for Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to his podcast, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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