Nice start goes awry for Byrd, Indians
After losing five-run lead in seventh inning, slide reaches 10
DETROIT -- Jimmy Carter was president.More appropriate to the situation, Jeff Torborg was manager. That's the last time the Indians did what they've done here in 2008. What was once a season of promise and a season centered on completing unfinished business has hit its lowest of many low points -- and it's a point no Tribe team has dared approach in nearly three decades. Wednesday's 8-6 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park -- a loss in which a 6-0 lead was wasted and in which Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer off Jensen Lewis in the ninth provided the finishing blow -- marks not only the finale of a winless road trip once deemed "make or break" but also gives the Indians 10 consecutive losses for the first time since June of 1979. "I've never been here before," manager Eric Wedge said. "As a player or a manager, I've never been here." The Indians didn't get here by accident. Theirs is a starting pitching staff ravaged by injuries to Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona and, most recently, the trade of ace CC Sabathia. Theirs is an offense that, even on nights that begin with promise, is continually unable to come through in the clutch. And theirs is a bullpen that has lost the trust of its manager. "We're losing collectively," said starter Paul Byrd, who was foiled by the 'pen in this one and remains winless since June 6. "You can't single out one facet of our game." So Wedge will do what obviously must be done at this point. He will gather his club before Thursday's home game against the Rays and address every facet. "I'm going to meet with these guys," Wedge said, "and let them know where I'm at and where I feel we're and what I see collectively as a ballclub and individually." What does Wedge see? "The effort is there," he said. "The work is there. Respecting the game and being a good teammate -- that's there. What's not translating is consistent performance from game time until that last pitch is thrown. Tonight was a great example of that."
|"We're losing collectively. You can't single out one facet of our game."|
|-- Paul Byrd|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.