Game 120: Diamondbacks 1, Indians 0 (12 innings)
Tribe falls to 60-60
There's something incredibly unsatisfying about a split doubleheader. You watch 18 innings of baseball (or in this case, 21 innings), and when it's all over, it feels like nothing happened. I suppose if you're in first place, treading water by splitting two games is a decent result, but for a team in the Indians' position, chasing two superior teams in the division, and five teams in the Wild Card race, every day you're not gaining ground is a day bringing you closer to elimination.
Earlier this evening the Indians were 3-2 winners on a walk-off home run, and boy, wasn't that fun?! ...A few hours later they were 1-0 losers, unable to score one lousy run in twelve long innings, wasting a great night of pitching.
Josh Tomlin was moved to the bullpen last week, because he'd pitched poorly in most of his starts over the previous two months. He only started tonight's game because last night's rainout screwed up the rotation. Tomlin doesn't have the same kind of stuff as guys like Bauer, Carrasco, and Salazar, but damned if what stuff he does have doesn't work better than anything those guys throw, every so often.
Tomlin has been dealing with a tired arm of late, so he was on a fairly low pitch count of just 50. There have been games this season when the Tribe starter reached that in the 2nd inning, and most guys would have gotten there at the end of 3, but Tomlin got through 5.1 innings before reaching his limit, and in that time only one runner got as far as second base. Tomlin pitched a Maddux for Columbus earlier this season, and if he'd been in a position to pitch all night (and if the Indians had scored a run eventually), he might have thrown one this evening.
Because Trevor Bauer went 8 innings in the day's first game, almost the entire bullpen had been resting since at least Sunday, which meant Tomlin's short outing wasn't a problem for the next couple hours. Nick Hagadone got 3 outs, Scott Atchison got 2, Marc Rzepczynski got 2, Bryan Shaw got 4, Kyle Crockett got 6. None of them allowed more than one hit.
In the 12th inning though, C.C. Lee walked the leadoff many, which is never a good idea. A sac bunt and a base hit put Arizona ahead 1-0, and the Indians, who had already left six men in scoring position on the night, didn't want to change things up so late in the game, so they had Lonnie Chisenhall line a pinch-hit double down the right field line, and then they stranded him there.
The Indians began the day at .500, and that's where they end it. Unfortunately, .500 isn't good enough.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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