The Cleveland Indians had Monday night’s game in Tampa all wrapped up.
They held an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth with Emmanuel Clase coming in for the save.
He failed to record a single out in what ended up being a 9-8 Rays victory.
That gave the Indians a seventh straight loss and the team is now reeling on Tuesday’s day off.
The most frustrating part of the loss is the fact the offense actually showed up in a big way against a good team.
A Huge Game Put To Waste
Franmil Reyes was the main reason the Indians had a lead in the first place.
Franmil Reyes status: very back pic.twitter.com/YBvYP8E8lp
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 6, 2021
The slugger had five RBIs in the game and was a triple short of the cycle.
He is bringing some much-needed fire back to the lineup and the way the dugout was celebrating after each of his hits proved he is a catalyst for the offense and the dugout in general.
The Indians went down 4-0 early against the Rays thanks to Logan Allen throwing an absolute meatball over the plate for a grand slam.
But Reyes drove in a run in the fourth and his two-run blast in the fifth tied the game at 5-5.
This all came on a night when Eddie Rosario had to be pulled as he continues to look injured before the All-Star break.
Having Reyes back is huge for the Indians, but none of it will matter if the pitching can’t hold up as well.
A Rare Bullpen Collapse
The bullpen is supposed to be the strength of this Indians team.
Yandy walks it off! pic.twitter.com/9n0fH1faht
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 6, 2021
But Allen allowing five earned runs so early put the pressure on from the start.
Rookie Justin Garza ended up having the best night out of the bullpen as he logged 1.2 innings of scoreless work.
However, both Nick Wittgren and Bryan Shaw failed to keep clean sheets.
James Karinchak did his job in the eighth, but Clase was fooling no one in the ninth en route to the loss.
It is very rare to see Clase struggle just to get an out, but this was his fourth charged loss on the season so we know he is not perfect.
Maybe Terry Francona will want to try Karinchak in the ninth-inning spot next time.
However, it is fair to note Clase pitched two innings a day prior on Sunday.
Other, fresher relievers could always get a shot too instead of overworking Clase and Karinchak.
An Unexpected Day Off
The Indians are off Tuesday because of the tropical storm rolling in toward Florida.
Hopefully, everyone stays safe in the Tampa area and this storm passes through uneventfully.
After that, Indians fans can watch Wednesday’s doubleheader praying the team can at least take home one win to avoid falling down to .500 on the year.
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