No Defense Given For Another Loss To Twins
Casey Blake hits an RBI single.
Casey Blake hits an RBI single.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 17, 2006


If you're an Indians fan upset at the way your favorite team has not played defense this year, imagine how Eric Wedge feels. Cleveland's manager has had to endure each misplay and minced no words after watching three more errors in a 6-1 loss to Minnesota. "It's inexcusable," he said. "Anybody watching us has seen it all year. Your eyes don't lie. We have to do better and it will be addressed."

Ryan Garko dropped a low throw at first base for one error and Franklin Gutierrez was charged with two -- one on a terrible overthrow and another when he got his glove on a fly ball then dropped it when he hit the left-field wall.

Third baseman Andy Marte also had a grounder go off his glove for what was ruled a two-run single.

"That play has to be made and was an error," Wedge said. "Our infield play has, at times this year, been inexcusable. That's the only word I can use other than a few that I'm not going to say.

"Go ask them if you think they should make plays. I'm not pleased."

Marte said he thought he misplayed the grounder into an error, but Gutierrez was surprised to be criticized for dropping the fly ball -- though vowed that it would not happen again.

"My first step was slow," Marte said. "I should have got that ball."

Wedge was annoyed that Gutierrez appeared to take long to drift under the fly ball.

"He's very capable of getting to that ball quicker," Wedge said. "He put himself in position to where it was a tough catch and the ball popped out."

Gutierrez said he thought he was hustling on what he considered a tough play.

"I was watching the wall, hit it and the ball came out," he said. "If (Wedge) says that, I don't know why, but I'll tell him it won't happen again."

Paul Byrd (9-8) didn't blame his teammates for the loss. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) over six innings -- walking four. He had only four walks in his previous 63 innings.

"I was frustrated," he said. "But it was with myself. I'm a veteran and I need to get a strikeout or a popup after something happens. I didn't."

The offense continued to struggle, too. The Indians scored three runs before making an out -- then made 27 of them without crossing the plate again.

Grady Sizemore walked, went to third on a single by Hector Luna and scored on another single by Casey Blake. One out later, Kevin Kouzmanoff bounced into a double play -- the first of five twin-killings turned by the Twins. Kouzmanoff also hit into another DP to end the game.



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