5/31 Recap: Rays 9 – Indians 2

Lonnie Chisenhall Update: Gone, but not forgotten, the Chiz Kid has played much better since our last update and now looks ready for a return to the Tribe. He has raised his average up to .400 after a 4-5 outing on 5/29 and has three home runs in his last ten games. Not only has he warmed up in AAA, but much of the lineup has cooled down over the last month. Mark Reynolds, Carlos Santana, Drew Stubbs and Jason Giambi all hit under .240 in May. The Indians could use all the offense they could get now and Chisenhall would replace the combination of Giambi, Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn. It would also aid the Indians defense by moving Mark Reynolds back to DH.

Player of the Game

Despite throwing just two innings, Corey Kluber won tonight's Player of the Game as no other pitcher was able to match his performance. Kluber struck out three and walked one before being removed during the long rain delay. With just one hit on the offensive side, there was little competition for tonight's honor.

Feathers Up

Every other team in the AL Central lost before the Indians entered into the fourth inning. This means that the Indians will remain just a half game back of Detroit despite the loss.

Nick Hagadone was able to get back into his comfort zone as he threw two innings tonight against both left and right handed batters. Hagadone allowed just a single hit (which should have been called an error) and struck out a batter during his time on the field.

Feathers Down

For some insane reason, despite radar showing rain until midnight, the Indians decided to play this one out instead of postponing it. Rather than just calling the game after the second inning and trying to make it up tomorrow as a double header, they chose to play all night, almost certainly hurting both teams for tomorrow's 1:05 start time.

Corey Kluber looked good again tonight, but was only able to throw two innings because of the massive almost five hour rain delay. Kluber struck out three in a row between the first two innings and didn't allow a hit. The Indians were facing a tough job facing Rays ace Matt Moore coming into the game, but losing Kluber early on made the game much more difficult to win. If he had remained in the game, it would almost certainly have been a much closer affair.

With the bullpen already in a difficult position due to the weather, Scott Barnes made things even harder by throwing 30 pitches while allowing five runs in his first inning. Barnes was expected to go at least three innings, but was only able to stick around for a single inning. With the extra innings the bullpen was forced to take, don't be surprised if there is a roster move before tomorrow's game to bring in some reserves. If this is the case, Barnes could be the odd man out with two other left handers already available in the bullpen.

It has been 19 days and nine appearances since Rich Hill was able to appear in a game and not allow a base runner. Tonight he allowed hits to the first four batters in the ninth inning, eventually giving the Rays three easy runs that they did not need. Hill has proven that he is washed up and is by far the worst pitcher in the Indians bullpen. The only reason Barnes would be sent down instead of Hill is because for some reason, the Indians don't want to lose him to waivers.

This unnecessarily long game ended at 2:56 am, the day after it was started.

Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Tampa Bay Rays 9

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB