The Cleveland Indians lost a game and a pitcher Monday night. It's been that kind of season.
Starter Roberto Hernandez had to leave the game after 2 1/3 innings with a sprained right ankle, and the Cleveland offense was held to two hits in a 3-0 loss to the Oakland A's.
The Indians have lost 11 of their last 12 games. In that span, they have been shut out twice and scored a total of 30 runs (2.5 per game). In their past six games, they've scored eight runs (1.3 per game). Virtually every hitter in the lineup is in a slump.
A contributing factor to the poor hitting is that the Indians have been facing very good pitching staffs: the Los Angeles Angels, the A's, the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. In their last four games, against the Yankees and A's, the Indians are hitting .074 (2-for-27) with runners in scoring position.
On Monday night, the Indians were also playing without one of their better hitters. Asdrubal Cabrera was given the night off because manager Manny Acta said he thought the shortstop looked tired.
The statistics supported giving Cabrera a rest. In his past seven games, he is hitting .111 (3-for-27). His replacement at shortstop Monday night, Brent Lillibridge, is hitting .187 after going 1-for-3.
The Indians were also facing a left-handed pitcher, Brett Anderson. Throwing a left-hander is the best way to neutralize Cleveland's mostly left-handed hitting lineup. After Monday's defeat, the Indians are 14-28 in games when the opposition has started a left-handed pitcher.
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