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Game 24: Tigers 9, Indians 7

Adam Everett has played 9 major-league seasons, mostly as a starter because of his defense. But his career-high OPS is .703, and has never slugged more than .400 in a season. So of almost any single position player in the American League, he's the one you'd want to face with two outs and the bases loaded. Aaron Laffey retired him once in that situation, and retired him on a grounder in the second inning. But Everett came up again two innings later, and this time Laffey made a mistake that he capitalized on. He hooked the fastball down the left field line and over the fence for a grand slam. A batter later, Laffey was chased from the game, and the Indians were down 5-0.

But good fortune again shone on the Indians, for the Tigers' defense let the them back into the game just an inning later. The Indians loaded the bases with two singles and walk, but it looked like they wouldn't take advantage of the opportunity after Grady Sizemore struck out. With two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a fly ball to what looked like medium-deep left field. The wind pushed the ball deeper, and Ryan Raburn, after initially slipping as the ball was hit, caught up to the ball only to have it bounce out of his glove. All three runners on base scored. After Victor Martinez walked, Magglio Ordonez played a Shin-Soo Choo single into a triple, and that miscue allowed the Indians to tie the game. The Indians would again come back in the seventh, scoring two runs to re-take the lead.

But again the bullpen couldn't get the game to the ninth inning. Vinnie Chulk did a commendable job getting the game from Laffey's departure in the fourth through the sixth. For a bullpen of decent depth, two innings of scoreless setup wouldn't be much of a problem. But the Indians have no consistent setup man now, so Eric Wedge tried to squeeze 1.2 innings out of the closest thing to one he had. Rafael Betancourt got the last two outs of the seventh, but gave up the lead with nobody out in the eighth by giving up a Curtis Granderson two-run shot . Whatever help the Indians get from Matt LaPorta and Luis Valbuena, they're going to have to solidify the bullpen in order to win with any kind of consistency.

Next Up: Cliff Lee vs. Justin Verlander, 1:05 PM




Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Shin-Soo Choo .340 Rafael Betancourt -.493
Victor Martinez .151 Aaron Laffey -.227
Asdrubal Cabrera .140 Mark DeRosa -.195