So this isn't really a recap, as something has to be complete in order for a recap to be done. But there are pretty special circumstances, thanks to the weather.
A couple weeks ago, ESPN decreed that the Royals and Indians would be counter-programming to a NASCAR race and various college football games. That meant the originally-scheduled 2:10 start would be pushed back to 8:00, turning an afternoon getaway game into ESPN(2) SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL(tm). And of course that new start time set up the possibility for future craziness if the game did not resume.
But first, let's go over what was happened so far.
TJ House, who has been the fifth starter for a while now, made the start. We've recently talked about who should replace House in the rotation, whether it be Zach McAllister or someone else, and that's because House, even when he's had success, has straddled a fine line between good and awful. He brought a 4.18 ERA (89 ERA+) into tonight's game, and our best hopes were that he'd go 5 or 6 innings and leave with the Indians within striking distance.
But tonight he pitched the game of his young career. After giving up an early run in the first inning, he shut down the Royals through six innings. And he had no room for error, as his entire outing was spent with his team either down one, tied, or up one. He was not only effective, but economical with his pitches, as when he left the game after seven innings he had thrown just 85 pitches.
The Indians got two early runs off Danny Duffy, with the second coming thanks to a wild pickup throw by Duffy. Those two runs seemed to have been enough, as the Indians got the game to Cody Allen, who had not blown a save in his last 17 saved opportunities. The first batter he faced was Alex Gordon, who had homered in his only career at-bat against Allen. After throwing three straight knuckle curves, Allen threw a fastball over the middle of the plate, and Gordon was ready for it. The ball landed in the fountain beyond the right-center field fence, and just like that the game was tied. Allen quickly retired the next three batters, but the damage had been done; if the Indians were to sweep the Royals, they'd have to do it in extra innings.
Royals closer Greg Holland came out to pitched the top of the tenth, as is common practice for home teams. He retired Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana, and should have retired Jason Kipnis to end the inning, but first baseman Billy Butler flubbed a weak grounder and Kipnis reached safely. It was a tricky play, as Butler would have to shovel the ball backwards to Holland at first base, but it was still an error, and it extended the inning. The Indians took advantage of it. Yan Gomes then singled up the middle, pushing Kipnis to third. Lonnie Chisenhall then pinch-hit for Mike Aviles, and after falling behind 0-2 on two nasty sliders, hooked an 0-2 slider high off the wall in the right field corner to drive home both Kipnis and Gomes.
But then the weather intervened. Seemingly seconds after the Indians took the lead, the wind started whipping around the park, catapulting numerous wrappers into the air. Roberto Perez struck out probably not having any idea where the ball was. After the inning, Kyle Crockett started to warm up, but the umpires called the tarp onto the field, anticipating a line of heavy storms. The rain showed up just after the tarp was placed, and wasn't going to let up any time soon. With the Indians needing to travel home to face the Tigers tomorrow at 4 PM, the umpires really had no choice but to declare tonight's game suspended.
MLB rule 4.12 (a) (5) stipulates that any official game terminated in the middle of an inning because of weather is considered a suspended game:
(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
(5) Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead
And because there are no more games between the Indians and Royals in Kansas City, the game will be resumed in Cleveland:
b) A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows:
(1) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game between the two clubs on the same grounds; or
(2) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader between the two clubs on the same grounds, if no single game remains on the schedule; or
(3) If suspended on the last scheduled date between the two clubs in that city, transferred and played on the grounds of the opposing club, if possible;
(i) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game
That means before the game on September 22, the Indians will try to finish off the bottom of the tenth and win tonight's game. TJ House, Mike Aviles, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen will not be allowed to appear when play resumes, but Kyle Crockett may stay in the game, as he was announced as the new pitcher when play was halted.
So the Indians leave Kansas City 3.5 games behind the Royals and 3 games behind the Tigers. They were three outs from being just 2.5 games behind both the Royals and the Tigers. That's quite a road trip, even if the weather prevented it from being even better.
Now they'll try to get a few hours of sleep and try to beat David Price in 13 hours.
|Deep South Ken
|Denver Tribe Fan
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