Indians 7, Rays 1
Tribe improves to 34-41
One day after being shut down by Ubaldo Jimenez, the reanimated corpse of Grady Sizemore spoiled a perfect game that Cody Anderson had carried into the 7th inning. Perhaps, you might have thought, the baseball gods aren't satisfied with consistent losing. They lust for blood and irony. At least that's the narrative you'd believe if you were the type of person who believed in such things. I say phooey to all that noise, and so did the Indians tonight.
I made two "bold" statements in the GameThread, both of which served to make me look stupid. First, I said that Cody Anderson would have to do a hell of a lot to best his major league debut, in which he threw 7 and 2/3 shutout innings. Cody proved my cautious optimism shouldn't have been so cautious. He carried a perfect game into the 7th and finished with just two hits and one earned run over eight innings. Sizemore's homer, which was a no-doubter, came with one out in the 7th. In case you were counting, that ended a streak of exactly 14 straight shutout innings to start young Cody's career. Maybe he's truly got "the stuff" - but maybe he just needs to face the Rays every time he starts. Either way, it appears that we've got something to look forward to in Mr. Anderson here.
The other bold statement I made before the game was that every hitter not named Jason Kipnis has been basically terrible lately. Once again, the Indians made me look like a happy fool. Kipnis, Michael Brantley, and Yan Gomes all contributed three hits to the Indians 13-hit onslaught. If you just looked at the box score, you might think the Indians dominated the game. That wasn't quite the case, but they did enough to keep Anderson feeling confident until a crazy 9th inning put the game out of reach for Tampa.
The game started almost as weirdly as it ended. Kipnis led off with a double, but Francisco Lindor was called out for kinda sorta running out of the baseline on a sac bunt attempt. Kipnis wasn't allowed to take third base for some reason, despite the fact that he obviously would have easily made it. No matter, though, as Dr. Smooth drive in Kip with an RBI single to stake the Tribe to an early lead. In the 2nd, Kipnis found himself again at the centre of the scoring. After Gomes led off the inning with a double, Kip drove him in with a two-out single. The score remained 2-0 until Sizemore once again disappointed every Indians fan on the planet. But the Yanimal responded in kind with a solo jack the very next inning, giving Anderson a much-needed insurance run heading into the Tampa 8th.
Cody shut down the Rays 1-2-3 to finish off his night, and then things got weird. Kipnis - yup, him again - got on with a one-out single, and quickly found himself on 3rd after a Lindor double. Rays pitcher Ronald Belisario then attempted to intentionally walk Michael Brantley. I say "attempted," because what really happened was this:
Then things got even weirder. Ryan Raburn got a hit. With a man in scoring position. Everyone advanced on a failed double play grounder off the bat of Brandon Moss. Then Belisario threw *another* wild pitch, which plated Raburn.
After the four-run Indian 9th, the Rays were too embarrassed to do anything worthwhile. Bryan Shaw made quick work of them, and the Indians got out of Tropicana Dumpster as fast as they possibly could.
Now, if the Indians could only do this three more times... well, they'd still be bad. But at least they'd have swept a series! OK, maybe I should quit it with the snarkiness. Then again, given the outcome of this game, perhaps I should keep the hate train rolling...
Win expectancy chart:
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