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Cleveland Indians walk their way to gift-wrapped victory over Cincinnati Reds

It took 11 innings, but eventually the Tribe was able to take advantage of all the free passes allowed by the Reds. They weren't able to clutch-hit, but they did clutch-walk.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 5, Reds 3 (11 innings)

box score

Indians improve to 44-47


Not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times the Tribe walked in runs in a bizarre game this afternoon. It took 11 innings, 18 runners left on base and countless bases loaded opportunities before the Tribe eventually capitalized on their 13 hits (and the ten walks allowed by the Reds) to secure a much-needed victory. If they had let this one slip through their grasp, it would have been a hugely demoralizing blow.

After loading the bases and failing to score in the 10th, the Tribe finally broke through in the 11th, when Yan Gomes (who very rarely walks) was given a bases loaded free pass and then Jason Kipnis scored Michael Bourn on a sac fly. Marc Rzepczynski and Zach McAllister then finished the job.

The game didn't just finish strangely, it also began in a weird start-stop fashion. After Jason Kipnis led off with a single to CF, a Brantley single sent him to 3rd and shortly afterwards play was suspended for 47 minutes due to a thunderstorm, after we had seen two outs and just 16 pitches. When the game resumed Johnny Cueto struck out Murphy and the early momentum was lost.

In the 2nd Cueto comfortably dispatched Aviles and Bourn, but then walked Roberto Perez after which Carrasco "helped his own cause" with his first career hit, a slashing single into RF (although he almost got thrown out in embarrassing fashion as he loafed his way to 1st base). Cueto, possibly feeling some effects from the long rain delay, seemed to have lost control of the strikezone as he walked Kipnis to load the bases and then gave up a third walk in the inning (to Lindor) to put the Tribe on the board.

After a 1-2-3 3rd, the Tribe got going again in the 4th with a Bourn single to CF and a second Perez walk. Carrasco then did his job with a fine sac bunt and Kipnis walked for a second time to load the bases. After Lindor popped one up foul, Brantley walked in a run and the Tribe took a 2-1 lead. Once Santana struck out that was it for Johnny Cueto, who miraculously had given up just two runs after walking six hitters in 94 pitches.

In the sixth Roberto Perez led off with...his third successive walk of the game and Carrasco then reached on a sacrifice that was fumbled by the pitcher. For some unknown reason Kipnis then decided to try and bunt, but eventually he came to his senses and hit a line drive to the right field wall to load the bases. Bizarrely, Manny Parra then walked Brantley and the Tribe had their third run — all on walks.

Aviles and Bourn led off the 7th with two singles and were advanced by a Perez sac bunt, bringing Yan Gomes to the plate as a rather controversial pinch-hitter for Carrasco (arguably, Perez should have simply gone for a hit and Carrasco then tried for the bunt if that failed). In any case, Gomes and Kipnis left the Tribe's runners stranded yet again, butt hey certainly weren't helped by the fact that Aviles failed to get back to the bag in timely fashion on Gomes' flyout, when he probably had a chance to tag up and score.

Carlos Carrasco began well, striking out two after Brandon Phillips blooped a leadoff single into shallow CF (which Bourn arguably should have claimed). However, in the 2nd he gave up a two-out solo homer to Eugenio Suarez, while in the third he allowed two baserunners with two outs but escaped via his third strikeout.

He then seemed to step up a gear with two more strikeouts in the 4th and another in the 5th, allowing just one walk (which was erased when Perez threw a lazer to nail Billy Hamilton for the second time this year). A leadoff single by DeJesus in the 6th was then nullified by a double play and Carrasco's afternoon was then brought to an untimely end after just 73 pitches due to the aforementioned tactical switch that brought Gomes to the plate.

After Bryan Shaw had raced through the 7th, he was brought back for the 8th and retired the first two. However, after giving up a single and a walk, he was replaced by Cody Allen for the extended save attempt (despite the fact that Allen had needlessly pitched in a blowout yesterday). However, a Joey Votto RBI single brought the Reds within a run as we went into the 9th, where after striking out the first two things became unravelled as Suarez doubled and was then driven home by Jason Bourgeois to force extra innings.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

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