Indians 5, Yankees 4 (16 innings)
Tribe improves to 52-59
If you're going to stay up for a 5-hour, 16-inning ballgame, you sure hope the right team wins.
We'll begin at the end, with Michael Brantley hitting a single into right field an Jose Ramirez racing around from second base to score the winning run after midnight at Progressive Field. Seeing his teammates charging at him, Brantley decided to head for the outfield, but they caught up with him, and then drenched him with a Super Soaker.
Speaking of Brantley, Doc Smooth has been awesome in the second half, batting .398 with 14 extra-base hits in 22 games. The game-winning single was Brantley third hit of the night, after he also hit his MLB-leading 34th and 35th doubles of the season. At this point, his numbers for the year aren't that far from where they were in 2014.
Alright, now that we've covered the ending, how did the game get there?
The Indians scored a run in the 1st on a Carlos Santana single, then scored in the 2nd on a Ramirez single, but that was the last time anyone on the Tribe would score for more than two hours. For a time it seemed those two runs would be enough, because Carrasco was twirling a gem through 5 innings. He gave up a leadoff home run in the 6th though, and then another in the 8th.
*In the 4th inning, Monstro made an absolutely fantastic play at third base for the Tribe. You should watch it right now.
Carrasco finished his night with 2 runs on 4 hits and 0 walks in 8 innings of work, with 8 strikeouts. He becomes only the second Tribe pitcher since 2008 to go 8+ innings in three consecutive starts. (Corey Kluber is the other, while the last guy to go 8+ in four consecutive starts for the Indians was CC Sabathia in 2006.) Over the last calendar year, Carrasco has the second-best FIP of any AL starter (Kluber again), and he's half of arguably the best 1-2 punch in the League.
Bryan Shaw had a tough time in the top of the 10th, and the Tribe fell behind 4-2. That brought Yankees close Andrew Miller into the game, and since Miller hadn't blown a save all season, I figured I could start writing about the offense dying after the 2nd inning and squandering another good pitching performance. Francisco Lindor led off with a single though, and then Brantley smashed one of his doubles, moving Lindor to third. Carlos Santana hit a sac fly, but the tying run remained on second base. Yan Gomes hit a bloop single into shallow right field, and Brantley raced in to tie the game.
The Yankees wouldn't get a runner any farther than first base for the rest of the night. Zach McAllister pitched a shutout inning, then Jeff Manship pitched one, then Ryan Webb pitched three, needing only a Maddux-like 22 pitches to record nine outs. Austin Adam pitched a perfect top of the 16th, setting the stage for Brantley's heroics.
It was the Tribe's first 16-inning game since Opening Day in 2012 (That one ended poorly), and the first 16-inning game between the Indians and Yankees since 1984. (That one ended poorly too.)
The Indians are 6.5 games back of the second Wild Card, and I don't think they're going to make that deficit up. If they can get back to .500 by September 1st, we can talk. In the meantime, there's a satisfaction in screwing things up for their opponents. They knocked the Twins below .500 over the weekend, and with Toronto winning again tonight (their 9th in a row), the Tribe's victory cuts the Yankees' AL East lead all the way down to half a game. It's possible the Indians could knock the bastards out of 1st on Wednesday or Thursday.
Win Expectancy Chart
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