Game 102: Royals 2, Indians 1
Tribe falls to 51-51
There was some discourse about which players were and were not goats in this particular game, so let's clear that up right off the bat. There was one. His name is Ryan Raburn and he no longer has any business in a Cleveland Indians uniform.
The Let's Go Tribe community has been howling for a bit now that it is time to part ways with one Mr. Raburn of Tampa, FL, myself included. His bat has completely disappeared this year without much explanation as to why or how and he is a liability in the field. Oh, is he ever a liability.
Corey Kluber was out of his mind phenomenal tonight and it was all for naught. I don't think it is a stretch in any way to say he pitched the best game of his career tonight. He threw 6 1/3 perfect innings before a single up the middle by Omar Infante, who was then erased on strike 'em out, throw 'em out, courtesy of Yan Gomes. He dominated all night and had pinpoint command.
Kluber would pitch 9 innings of what should have been a complete game shutout, while striking out 10, walking nobody and allowing only 2 hits. The one run was unearned, obviously. That is good for a game score of 91, even with the miscue. A career best. We're witnessing the birth of an ace here folks.
But Raburn blew it. With one out in the 8th, Mike Moustakas, 2014's thorn in the side, would fight a ball off to the opposite field and chase a sliding Ryan Raburn to the foul line. A better fielder would have probably had the ball, but Raburn probably made the best effort he could have made, given his skills. But what happened next allowed Moustakas to go from 2nd all the way home. Yep. All. The. Way. Home. Raburn looked to throw to second and, supposedly, upon not seeing the cutoff man in position tried to hold up. Instead, he uncorked a ball straight into the ground, where it dribbled on into eternity, ne'er to be seen again. Because the ground isn't a player and it can't relay the throw home. Here, take a look:
Carlos Santana, who went 2 for 4 with 2 walks on the night, led off the 9th with a BB. The, with 2 outs, Yan Gomes would come through with a single up the middle to drive him in. But all it did was prolong the agony for another 5, dull, mind-numbing innings, where all one could think about was Ryan Raburn's stupid throw. That stupid, stupid throw.
You could also blame the rest of the offense for failing to show up. I do, a little. Some of it was bad luck and some of it was a team that doesn't hit left handed pitching facing one of the better lefties in the league in Danny Duffy (who also pitched a great game), but that doesn't explain away 10 runners left on base and only 2 hitters having doubt digit hits in a 14 inning game. But even with all, the Indians would have been up 1-0 after 9 if not for "The Throw."
The Royals would finally scratch across the winning run in the 14th. Lorenzo Cain singled and stole second, despite a fantastic throw from Gomes. John Axford would blow past Danny Valencia before Nori Aoki caught some BABIP luck on a flare to left to end the game and put us all out of our misery.
In the end, Ryan Raburn and the Royals would come out victorious over Corey Kluber, Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes. The three of them but up a helluva fight though, all things considered.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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