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Game Twenty-Four: Indians 7, Blue Jays 6 (11 Innings)

Box Score
Win Probability Graph @ Fangraphs

Highest WPA:

Jhonny Peralta .297
Rafael Betancourt .253
Travis Hafner .248

Lowest WPA:

Jason Davis -.370
Josh Barfield -.197
Victor Martinez -.144

Jake Westbrook lasted just 1.1 innings, and since the game went extra innings, the bullpen had to pitch over 9 innings, but a bad swing cured all those ills, at least temporarily.

Westbrook wasn't right from the start; his pitches were flat, and the hitters were hitting fliners left and right. After the first out of the second inning, Victor Martinez came out to the mound, as Westbrook's delivery was becoming markedly different. After another pitch with similar mechanics, the trainer came out, and Westbrook left the game. This really put the bullpen into a bind, as Jason Davis and Tom Mastny, the team's designated long men, were both used last night. Fernando Cabrera, who was probably the most rested of anyone in the bullpen, came in and pitched 2.2 innings, holding the Jays at bay through the fourth inning. Jason Davis then came in, and appropos for his career, was wild and when he did come into the strike zone, threw get-me-over fastballs.

Toronto scored 3 runs off him to take a 4-2 lead, and given the amount of innings left, seemed to have a distinct advantage. The Indians offense re-took the lead with a four-run fifth, capped off by another Jhonny Peralta home run. Jhonny's been extremely hot over this homestand, with 11 hits in his last 28 at-bats, including four home runs and two doubles. Hopefully this success isn't just a blip on the radar for Peralta, because if he can at least partially return to his 2005 form, this offense could be as good as any in baseball.

Aaron Fultz, who finished up for Jason Davis in the top of the fifth, allowed a leadoff double to Vernon Wells but retired the next two hitters, leaving Wells at third base. Roberto Hernandez was called in to face Troy Glaus, who promptly hit a double to left. He gave up another double to Aaron Hill, and just like that, the game wa tied. It was then that I began to think: "what if this game goes into extra innings?" After Hernandez departed, the Indians had three pitches left: Tom Mastny, who had thrown two innings the night before, Joe Borowski, a guy with past injury problems, and Rafael Betancourt. Thankfully, Betancourt pitched two strong innings, keeping the game tied into extra innings.

Joe Borowski pitched the tenth, walking the tightrope. The Indians failed to score the tenth, meaning that the Indians were now down to their last reliever, Tom Mastny. As the game entered extra innings, the Indians got very aggressive, knowing that if they were to win the game, they needed to do it soon. In the tenth, Josh Barfield attempted to steal second, and was cut down by a very good Jason Phillips throw, and David Dellucci, who started the eleventh with a broken bat single, ran with Travis Hafner at the plate with a full count. The Jays, even with a man on base, were employing a severe shift for Hafner. Shawn Marcum's payoff pitch was low and away, and Hafner flailed at it, dribbling a weak grounder to where the third baseman normally was. Fortunately for the Indians, he wasn't there. The ball went into left field, and Dellucci was able to come all the way around to score.

The extent of Westbrook's injury won't be known until later, but the initial diagnosis is a "lower left abdominal injury," which in all likelihood means a trip to the DL. The Indians also need a fresh arm or two in the bullpen, especially if Cliff Lee, who's making his first appearance off the DL, makes the start. The end result will be Fausto Carmona returning to the rotation, but there's several intermediary moves that need to be made in the interim.

Next Up: The Indians go for the sweep. Lee vs. McGowan, 7:05 PM