The Cleveland Indians played the Tampa Bay Rays tough Monday night.
While the final result was a 9-8 loss, it was an inspiring sign before Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Indians got absolutely pummeled in both games Wednesday by a combined score of 12-1.
To make matters worse, the Indians got no-hit in the second of the two seven-inning games.
That doesn’t count as an official no-hitter, but it still happened before our eyes.
This marks the third time the Indians have been no-hit in 2021 and it is still early July.
Seven-inning no-hitters are technically considered “notable achievements,” so the Indians are not the first team in history to be no-hit three times in one season. But they are the first team to be no-hit twice and notably achieved against.
Oh, and they’ve lost nine in a row.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 7, 2021
So, is this rock bottom?
A Truly Painful Losing Streak
The Indians have now lost nine straight games.
That includes two losses to the Detroit Tigers and sweeps by both the Rays and Houston Astros.
And aside from Monday’s game in Tampa, the Indians have scored four or fewer runs in eight of the nine losses.
In terms of the losing streak, the no-hit outing has to be rock bottom of this current slide.
The offense couldn’t scrape across a hit or a run and only drew two walks in the game.
Just look at the sad highlights listed from the team’s official Twitter account.
Just want the hurt to stop, honestly.#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/ExaCsLgLxa
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 7, 2021
The stars of the game each drew a single walk.
Injuries have hit this team hard and the lineup just stood no chance with Daniel Johnson, Owen Miller, Oscar Mercado, Austin Hedges, and Ernie Clement all expected to contribute.
Franmil Reyes was not in the lineup for the no-hit outing after driving in a run in the first game.
Would he have made a difference in the second game?
It is possible, but the point here is that the lineup is too flimsy due to the injury bug.
When Will This End?
The Indians have dropped to 42-42 on the year and are now eight games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division.
The first half ends with a four-game series at home against the Kansas City Royals.
After a hot start, the Royals are now 36-50 on the year and the Indians hold the series lead this year by a mark of 5-1.
So there is indeed hope as Zach Plesac is also set to make his return to the mound Thursday night.
Professional baseball players shouldn’t need extra motivation, but perhaps Plesac being out there can inspire the lineup just a bit more.
The Indians have lost Josh Naylor for the year and just put Eddie Rosario on the injured list.
Reyes has just returned from his own injury, while Ramirez continues to be banged up.
Roberto Perez has also just returned, meaning there are so many question marks in the lineup each and every night.
That is before even talking about the fact the young rotation is being relied upon to do too much, even though it is out of necessity.
The Indians can’t correct this slide in a day.
But winning Thursday at home would be a good first step.
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