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Indians vs. Giants recap (Saturday): Zach McAllister was awesome until he wasn't

Do you like watching one bad inning turn victory into defeat? Do you like seeing the Indians leave a bunch of runners on base? Then this was the game for you!

Jason O. Watson

Game 24: Giants 5, Indians 3

To quote Milhouse, "We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but instead it ended in tragedy."

Zach McAllister was great for the first four innings, needing only 42 pitches to get through them and retiring 12 straight batters after a double led off the game. The offense was doing its part too, scoring one in the 1st, another in the 3rd, and another in the 5th. McAllister even picked up his first career hit in the 2nd, singling to right field; why was a guy batting 1.000 asked to bunt with two runners on in the 4th inning?! (that bunt turned into a double play, by the way)

In the bottom the 5th though, the wheels came off the wagon. A lead-off single was followed by an out, but another single and a walk loaded the bases. Gregor Blanco singled in San Francisco's first run, then Angel Pagan drove another one in with a sacrifice fly. Retiring the next man would have ended the inning with the Tribe still on top. Instead, Hunter Pence rolled a ball just beyond the reach of Jason Kipnis (more on that in a minute) and another two runs scored.

McAllister struck out the next man to get out of the inning, and had only thrown 75 pitches, but Terry Francona pinch hit for him (McAllister did not appear to be pleased with that decision), ending his day. C.C. Lee came on for the 6th, and promptly hung a breaking ball right over the plate to Buster Posey, who hit it 20 rows into the left-field seats. With the offense having already reached the limits of its productivity for the day, the game was basically over at that point. The most interesting thing to happen in the final three innings was Corey Kluber being put in as a pinch runner after Jason Giambi was hit by a pitch. It's always nice to have a player so incapable of running the bases that you can put a good starting pitcher at risk by asking him to try things on the base paths.

The ball that got by Kipnis to allow the tying and go-ahead (fall-behind?) runs to score was ruled a hit. I don't disagree with that ruling, but it looked like a play that should have been made. The Tribe's infield defense has very little range, and they're compounding things by booting too many of the ones they do get to (or throwing them away). There have been 3 or 4 games already that the team may have won if they fielded the ball better. Short of cloning Francisco Lindor, I'm not sure what the solution is, but the problem is not likely to go away on its own.

If you're looking for a bright side to today's loss, GO SOMEPLACE ELSE, BECAUSE I'M NOT IN THE MOOD ANY FOR BRIGHT SIDES TODAY!

...Okay, okay, I'll give you one: Michael Bourn has looked a lot better. He led off the game with a double and tagged up on a fly ball to left field, which put him in position to score on a single that might otherwise have only gotten him to third. Bourn had another hit later, and also covered a ton of ground to make a very nice catch in right-center field. Bourn's line is now up to .275/.326/.400, numbers I'd be quite content to get from him for the season.

The Indians will look to avoid being swept tomorrow afternoon. Danny Salazar gets another chance to show he belongs in the rotation; Ryan Vogelsong will start for the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 ET.

Box Score

Win-expectancy chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

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