Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 6-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
1) The Ax Man cometh…and The Ax Man dishes up another big hit.
Just when it appeared that John Axford had fixed the delivery problems that cost him the Indians closer’s role in mid-May, back-to-back bad outings in Kansas City have left doubts that he may never get back to the dominating form that allows a team to entrust him such an important role.
Manager Terry Francona had increasingly begun to trust the lanky right-hander again “in high-leverage” situations as he calls them. Mind you, we’re talking about a late-inning set up role, NOT even the closer role. And wouldn’t you know Axford is struggling again.To read more or comment...
Just when it seemed John Axford had smoothed out the delivery problems that plagued him to the point of losing his closing role for the Indians in mid-May, back-to-back bad outings in Kansas City may have set back his progress.
Just as manager Terry Francona has begun to trust him the right-hander again in close games in a late-inning set up role, Axford has begun to struggle again. Before Friday's outing, Axford hadn't allowed a home run over his last 11 appearances.
Thursday, Axford gave up the game-winning hit in the 14th inning of the Tribe’s loss one-run loss.
Friday, he dished up a no-doubt, two-run home run to pinch-hitter Billy Butler that handed the Royals another victory, this one by a score of 6-4.To read more or comment...
Corey Kluber’s body language - and look on his face - said it all.
From the disapointment of losing a near-perfect game in the seventh inning, to the frustration of losing a complete-game shutout on a wacky defensive play inthe eighth, Thursday’s series-opener against the host Royals unraveled suddenly for Kluber and the Tribe.
After sitting down the first 19 batters the right-hander faced, An Omar Infante single up the middle erased Kluber's the no-hit bid. What came next in the eighth inning of the Royals 2-1, 14-inning affair isn't as easy to shrug off.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Indians left fielder Ryan Raburn dove after a ball down lofted down the line by Mike Moustakas. Raburn ran in and then slid in a desperate attempt to make the catch. But the ball glanced off his glove, rolled up his arm and then scooted away before settling at the base of the wall in foul territory.To read more or comment...
Here are the Indians and Royals starting lineups for Thursday night’s game, the first of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
2B Jason Kipnis
LF Mike AvilesTo read more or comment...