I'm not a fan of the intentional walk, and the way Victor Martinez has been swinging the bat, putting another man on base doesn't seem like the best idea, but when Miguel Cabrera came up with first base open and one out in the top of the 10th inning, I'd have thrown him four wide ones. It's not so much that I'd rather face Martinez, it's that Martinez was going to come to the plate either way, because Cabrera wasn't going to hit into a double play, and Cabrera's run wouldn't really have mattered much, because in extra innings, it's the first run that kills you more often than not.
In any case, Terry Francona has Cody Allen pitch to Cabrera, and Cabrera hit his league-leading 26th double of the season, driving in what would prove to be the game-winning run for Detroit. That run meant a late rally by the Tribe was for naught. Not that deserves have anything to do with it, but the Indians didn't really deserve to win this game anyway.
For one thing, Trevor Bauer, despite some great pitches and brief sequences that showed flashes of the guy we all want him to become, did not pitch well. You can put some of that on Francona, who maybe should have pulled Bauer after six easonably successful innings, in which he allowed only two runs, but Bauer is the one who threw the two pitches that each got smashed for home runs in the 7th. He'd already given up a homer to Victor in the 2nd too (one of 5 or 6 hard-hit balls by Detroit that inning), giving him three on the night.
Heading into play today, a pitcher has given up 3+ home runs in a game 1,620 times in the last ten years. In those games, said pitcher got the win 164 times, while taking the loss 1,039 times (with 417 no decisions) Said pitchers team is 355-1,265, which means they win only 22% of those games.
Furthermore, the Indians managed only 5 base runners in the first 7 innings, with Lonnie Chisenhall's 18th double and Carlos Santana's 11th home run (tied for the team lead being the notable ones. In the 8th inning the Tribe quickly got a rally going as Michael Bourn got hit by a pitch and Asdrubal Cabrera knocked him in with a double. Brantley, Kipnis, and Santana couldn't get him in with the tying run though.
They did manage to tie it in the 9th though, getting consecutive two-out singles from Murphy, Gomes, and Bourn, and I guess the lineup deserves credit for battling, but aside from Cabrera and Santana (who also singled in the 10th, boosting his batting average above .200) it wasn't a good night for the offense. Brantley and Kipnis each went 0 for 5, Swisher went 0 for 4 (I'd say the shine of Thursday's grand slam has already worn off).
The Indians dropped back below .500 and four games behind the Tigers, who have reclaimed 1st place from Kansas City. The series wraps up tomorrow afternoon, with a Josh Tomlin/Max Scherzer pitching matchup that does not favor the Tribe. Getting swept at home would undo the progress of the last couple weeks, so hopefully we don't see that happen.
|18||Deep South Ken||1|