It is often the case that stupidity and pride are carpool partners on the drive of life. This is one way of approaching the final stretch of the Indians' 2012 season. The "smart" view would suggest that the Indians should be happy to continue their second-half plummet, riding it all the way to the 2nd pick in the 2013 draft (and the signing pool money that goes along with that draft slot). But the prideful Indians fan, to the extent that their are any of us left, would rather not go down so easily. Especially not to the $137M Detroit Tigers. Especially not with the Tigers tied for first place. Especially not when the Indians have handled Detroit surprisingly well for most of the season, compiling a 7-2 record prior to a dreadful series sweep the first week of August. Pride, and the Indians, won today.
Corey Kluber made his seventh start in his extended audition for the 2013 Cleveland rotation. Against a Detroit lineup which, while not as feared as some thought it might be heading into the season, features several extremely good hitters, Kluber fared well, lasting six innings and only allowing two runs. Things looked like they might turn bad early, as Kluber loaded the bases by hitting Prince Fielder with one out, then allowed an RBI-single to Delmon Young. Detroit's glacial pace on the basepaths limited the damage and assisted in an inning-ending double-play to Brennan Boesch. Kluber was able to prevent a similar situation from spiraling out of control in the fourth inning, again, with help from a double play (in case you were wondering, the Tigers lead the league in GIDPs with 132).
While Kluber held the Tigers at bay, the Indians' offense took advantage of sloppy play by the Tigers. With runners on 1st and 3rd in the first inning, Jason Kipnis scored on an Alex Avila passed ball. In the 3rd inning, Shin-Soo Choo stole 2nd, then took third when the throw from Avila skipped into centerfield. Asdrubal Cabrera promptly singled him home to give the Indians their second one-run lead of the afternoon. In the seventh, Lou Marson stole second on his counterpart, putting him in position to come home for the lead on a Jason Kipnis single, just in time to put Kluber in position for the win.
Just like they drew it up at the beginning of the season, the 7th, 8th and 9th were handled effectively by Cody Allen, Esmil Rogers and Vinnie Pestano. Pestano showed some fortitude in the 9th after giving up a leadoff double to Prince Fielder. After hitting Brennan Boesch, Pestano promptly retired Jhonny Peralta with a swing-and-miss fastball then got Alex Avila to ground out on the first pitch, giving the Indians their eight win over Detroit this season.
Roll Call: Joel D, johnf34, DocNo, APV, westbrook, V-Mart Shopper, mtg8, drerikbrady, Ryan, themadlibs, woodsmeister, kennesawmountainwahoo, ahowie, LosIndios, bmgiblinindians
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Name # of Posts APV 58 johnf34 50 DocNo 43 westbrook 27 Ryan 24 drerikbrady 24 woodsmeister 11 V-Mart Shopper 9 mtg8 9 Joel D 7 themadlibs 6 LosIndios 5 kennesawmountainwahoo 4 bmgiblinindians 1 ahowie 1