Game 77: Diamondbacks 9, Indians 8
Tribe falls to 37-40
Aaron Hill is my favorite baseball player, because he just ended five and a half hours worth of the dumbest baseball game of the season.
It would be inaccurate to say the Diamondbacks won, but rather that they sucked slightly less than the Indians. The Diamondbacks collected 19 hits tonight, a season high allowed by the Indians. By all rights this should have been a blowout in Arizona's favor, but they also left 19 men on base and went just 7-24 with runners in scoring position. The Indians, not content to look a gift horse in the mouth, instead assaulted said horse to the brink of death. Leaving 12 men of their own on base, making a handful of boneheaded defensive miscues, and generally pitching like a bunch of idiots, the Indians finally succumbed to the slow-acting, barely-lethal venom of the
This wasn't so much a baseball game as it was a five hour marathon of excruciatingly poor baseball-like plays. It went on so long that it's easy to forget how bad Justin Masterson was at the beginning. Giving up five runs in just four innings, he left the bullpen to clean up his mess over the longest game of the season. Given the initial situation, it's a minor miracle the bullpen allowed just four runs over the course of 10 innings, but it would be disingenuous to say they did well. It's a good thing this is only a two-game series and we've got another off day on Thursday, because we burned through all nine relievers in Terry Francona's bloated bullpen.
It started out looking like it was going to be one of those games, and boy was it. Masterson allowed the first two batters to reach base in the Arizona 1st, but managed to induce a weak double play grounder from Paul Goldschmidt. Unfortunately, Carlos Santana was nowhere near first base as he received the relay throw from Jason Kipnis. Terry Francona challenged, perhaps unwisely, and failed, and the Diamondback took the early lead on a double from Miguel Montero.
Somewhat uncharacteristically, the Indians offense got right to work in the 2nd plating four runs, two of which came courtesy of a Lonnie Chisenhall Magic Hands™ triple. Things were looking up for the Tribe at 4-1, but it wouldn't last. Masterson's struggles continued into the 2nd as he allowed the first two D-Backs to reach base, both of which would eventually come around to score on an Ender Inciarte single. The Indians added a run in the 3rd to go up 5-2, but the D-Backs were relentless all night and continuously threatened. They added two in the 4th and one in the 5th to tie the game at 5. Masterson left the game have given up five earned on seven hits with four walks and a nearly even split between balls and strikes thrown. Ugly.
The Indians threatened but couldn't capitalize for the next several innings, leaving Arizona a window to take the lead in the the 6th on an Aaron Hill RBI single off of LGFT Vinnie Pestano. Things were quiet for a while after that, but the real fun started in the late innings. Yan Gomes tied the game with a two-out single in the 9th and a scoreless inning from Cody Allen forced the game into extras. Carlos Santana crushed a laser two-run homer in the 11th to put the Indians up 8-6 (incidentally, Santana had another excellent night collecting four hits and a walk). The Indians looked poised to head home the victors, but then Bryan Shaw and John Axford happened.
Shaw got the first batter of the 11th to fly out. The next five batters reached base, including a homer from David Peralta and a game-tying single from Inciarte off of Axford. The closest the Indians would get to scoring again was a deep fly ball from Jason Kipnis in the 13th, which was misplayed by the center fielder. Kipnis tried to stretch an easy triple into an in-the-park homer, but was out by about ten feet thanks to a tremendous relay throw from Didi Gregorius.
Sweet release finally came in the 14th, in the form of human white flag Mark Lowe. The ninth man in the bullpen, Lowe gave up a leadoff single to Gerardo Parra, who sucks but was a general pain in the ass all game. Parra stole second, advanced to third on a sac fly, and scored on a gap-shot "single" from Hill.
Because it's so late and this game was such an annoying ordeal, here's a bullet list of other stupid stuff that went down tonight:
- The Indians loaded the bases in 5th with no outs, but a K and two popups ensured no runs scored
- The Indians botched a rundown in the 6th
- Parra, who is really bad, had four hits on the night, one of which was a ground-rule double in the 7th which fortuitously prevented Arizona from scoring and extending their lead
- Michael Bourn took an an obvious third strike withe runners on 2nd & 3rd and one out in the 12th
- Josh Collementer, who was supposed to be Arizona's Wednesday starter, came on to pitch the 14th and picked up the win
- Corey Kluber batted with two outs in the 14th
- The Indians struck out 17 times
- Arizona has a player named Tuffy Gosewitch
- 5 hours and 32 @#$%^&* minutes
A few positives, just for fun:
- Carlos Santana's great game: 4-5, team-leading 12th home run, a double, two singles, two walks... Yep, he's back to being the Tribe's top hitter.
- Yan Gomes' great game: 3-6 with 3 RBI
- Mark Rzepczynski, Scott Atchison, and Cody Allen all pitched at least one scoreless inning; Carlos Carrasco pitched two!
- Klubot pitches tomorrow
WIn expectancy chart*
*note: the game seems to have broke Fangraphs, so this only goes to the top of the 14th, in case anyone actually cares
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