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Cody Anderson outstanding in MLB debut, Indians win 1-0 over Tampa Bay on walkoff sac fly

Cody Anderson went 7.2 shutout innings in his major-league debut, giving the Indians a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.

This play gave the Indians their first walkoff victory of the season.
This play gave the Indians their first walkoff victory of the season.
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Indians 1, Ray 0

Box Score

Indians improve to 32-36

I don't think either the Indians or Cody Anderson imagined that his MLB debut would be this good. After a poor 2014, Anderson spent the winter in Arizona improving his flexibility, and it paid huge dividends, starting with a dominant stretch in Akron. And because of injuries, the Indians had been searching for a fifth starter all season. Anderson's off-season work combined with the team's need for a starter led to this somewhat improbable start, and even more improbable result.

Anderson started the first inning throwing in the mid-90s, which adrenaline probably had something to do with. He threw mostly a fastball/changeup combination, and breezed through the first 3 innings. The Rays probably didn't have much video to watch, but even so, Anderson's stuff and command was excellent. In the middle innings Anderson's velocity fell to his usual velocity (92-94), and the Rays started to hit the ball better, but Anderson kept his composure, pitching around base hits in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. He allowed a one-out double in the eighth, got Joey Butler to ground out for the second out, then left the game to ovation. Scrabble intentionally walked Evan Longoria, then struck out Nick Franklin to strand the runner at third.

What made Anderson's outing even more impressive is that he knew he had no margin for error. The Indians managed just one hit off Tampa Bay starter Alex Colome in seven innings, continuing a trend from the first two games of the series. It took them until ninth inning for them to get a runner to second, and until the ninth to get a runner to third. After Cody Allen pitched a perfect ninth, Roberto Perez led off the bottom of the inning with a single past LGFT Asdrubal Cabrera, then Jason Kipnis plugged the hole between first and second to send Perez to third. Francisco Lindor's line drive to medium deep left field was not nearly deep enough to send Perez home (the Tribe catcher stayed put), and David Murphy's fly ball to medium deep center field didn't look it would be deep enough either, as center fielder Kevin Kiermaier threw a one-hop rocket to the plate, but Rays catcher Curt Casli couldn't hang on to tag out the sliding Perez.

This win marked the first time the Indians had won in walkoff fashion, and may mark the first of many Cody Anderson starts in an Indians uniform.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

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