CLEVELAND: What do David Price, Philip Humber, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay have in common?
Each has won a Cy Young Award or thrown a no-hitter (or both), and all have been pummeled by the Indians this year, combining for an 0-4 record and 14.60 ERA against the suddenly Wicked Wahoos.
To be fair, Ervin Santana, Jake Peavy and Jon Lester, also Cy Young winners or no-hit perpetrators, are 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA against the Tribe in 2013. But shouldn’t that be the norm for starters of great achievement?
Tuesday night at Progressive Field, Halladay, who has gloried in throwing a no-hitter and winning a Cy Young Award, took an awful beating from the Indians, who walloped the Phillies 14-2.
After enduring a stretch of games where runs were harder to find than a Tribe season-ticket holder, the Indians have scored 33 runs in the past three games.
“I think we did a really good job of extending innings then doing more damage after we extended them,” manager Terry Francona said, downplaying the explosion of runs.
Tuesday night, the weapon of choice was the long ball. It would be quicker to list the hitters who did not go deep for the Tribe, but that’s not the way it’s done, even when a team hits seven, which set a club record for home runs at a game in Cleveland.
So in chronological order:
Carlos Santana hammered a two-run blast with two outs in the first inning, and after Jason Giambi walked, Mark Reynolds slammed a two-run homer to right.
Halladay (2-3, 6.75 ERA) made it through the next two innings without sustaining more bruises, but in the fourth, the Indians began hammering away again. Reynolds singled and Lonnie Chisenhall parked a drive over the wall in right for two more runs.
Considering the way things were going, the oddest hit of the night occurred later in the inning, when Asdrubal Cabrera drove in two runs. With a single. That hit marked the end of Halladay’s nightmarish outing; he was charged with eight runs and nine hits in 3⅔ innings.
Francona was asked how much fun it was to watch the home runs, but the manager deflected the long-ball talk.
“The fun is when a guy like [Nick] Swisher gets time off and you use the whole club,” he said. “You see the growth of personalities on the whole team.”
Chad Durbin drew the short straw and took over the pitching for the Phillies. He was jolted into reality in the fifth, when Ryan Raburn and Michael Brantley hit two-run homers.
This was only the beginning — or maybe a continuation of a pattern — for Raburn, who hit a solo shot off Raul Valdes in the seventh, just before Drew Stubbs went deep.
“I’m just trying to have good, quality at-bats,” Raburn said. “Fortunately, things have been going pretty good.”
Raburn has hit four home runs in the past two games, becoming the first Tribe batsman to hit multiple home runs in consecutive games since July 19-20, 2004, when Travis Hafner hit five in two games against the Angels in Anaheim.
And to think how many home runs Raburn might hit if he was an everyday player.
“Ryan is a good hitter,” Francona said. “He’s played four or five games in a row, and that’s not easy for a guy who doesn’t play [every day].
Is it possible that hitting home runs can be contagious?
“Hitting is contagious,” Reynolds said. “Watching guys go up there and put up good swings on the ball gives you confidence. And we found some holes tonight. … There are lots of holes over the fence.”
“He played all 18 innings of the doubleheader, and we got home pretty late last night. So not only has he helped us win, he’s got to feel good about himself.”
Lost in the barrage of home runs was a professional pitching performance by Zach McAllister, who gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. It was McAllister’s longest outing and lowest run output allowed for the season.
“I thought I had a pretty good mix of pitches, maybe the best of the season,” McAllister (2-3, 3.30 ERA) said.
The Phillies managed to hit a couple of home runs of their own, but it hardly mattered that Delmon Young went deep in the second and Chase Utley in the sixth, both with nobody on base.
“Zach established that he could get the breaking ball over for strikes,” Francona said. “And he made it sharper when he needed to put guys away.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.