Tribe improves to 30-30
It ended almost exactly seven hours after the scheduled start time, but it was worth every second of the wait. A walkoff, three-run homer from Asdrubal Cabrera capped a perfect home stand and extended the Indians win streak to six games. A sterling, long-haul performance by the 'pen combined with Droobs' heroics to overcome a shaky outing from a rusty Klubot.
To say tonight's game didn't unfold as expected is an understatement. It was clear from the get-go that the the two and a half hour rain delay did Corey Kluber no favors. He had trouble located his pitches all night, often getting behind in counts or losing batters he had gotten ahead of, yet still managed five shutout innings before he encountered a critical error. He had a little help from his D for a change, escaping the 5th on back-to-back outstanding plays by Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis.
Klubot's restraining bolt started to come loose in the 6th. He hit his second batter of the night - and only his third all season - to start the inning. With one out, David Ortiz crushed an absolute bomb to right-center, and pimped it like he'd just won a life supply of Mounds bars before jogging as slowly as humanly possible around the bases. Unfortunately, Klubot wouldn't get another chance to stick one in Big Papi's ribs. He would depart with two on and only one out in the 7th, having already given up two to put Boston up 4-2. He left with just four K's, his second-lowest total for the season. The rest would be up to the bullpen.
Through five innings, Indians hitters had only managed one run against some dude called Brandon Workman. They clawed right back after the Ortiz homer with an RBI single by by Kipnis to tie it. They took the lead on a two RBI single by David "Magic Hands" Murphy, a one-handed slap just over the head of the garden gnome Boston had planted around second base. The Tribe was in good shape to tack on more runs with runners at teh corners and only one out, but Jason Giambi grounded into a double play to end the threat. After the lead was erased by Kluber's implosion in the 7th, the offense would be basically silent for the next five dreadful innings.
The Tribe bullpen was a different story. When Kuber left in the 7th, the worst case scenario was a protracted extra inning affair, as workhorses Cody Allen, Mark Rzepczynski, and Bryan Shaw were in desperate need of rest. What followed was something few of us could have predicted: 5 and two thirds stellar, scoreless innings from Scott Atchison, Nick Hagadone (!), John Axford (!!), Bryan Shaw, and Carlos Carrasco ($#@!). The dominant bullpen showing included 10 K's, two from Axford and four from Carrasco. The guys who are most often forgotten stepped up when it mattered most.
Outside of a Giambi double with two outs in the 9th and a one out RISP missed opportunity in the 10th, it was nothing doing for the offense until the 12th. Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn started the one-out rally with back-to-back single. Unfortunately, Asdrbal Cabrera would kill the rally as quickly as it started, depositing an LGFT Edward Mujica meatball into the visitor's bullpen to end the game. Sources say David Ortiz did not, in fact, take the time to admire that longball.
Some other fun tidbits since it's late as hell, I'm delirious from allergies, and I'm tired of writing in prose:
- Giambi's double was the only Tribe XBH until Cabrera's walkoff
- A.J. Pierkjdfhfgljdfdouchlisylhski was ejected for argung balls and strikes - on defense - after BOOOOO Grady Sizemore did some chirping of his own after some questionable strike calls
- Lonnie Chisenhall laid down two beautiful sac bunts, one of which he beat out for a single
- Chisenhall also continued to look like a total turd in the field, making two generously-not-scored-errors
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