Tribe improves to 57-41
Not gonna sugarcoat it: the Indians had absolutely no business winning this game. I can’t recall a recent game full of so many errors and missed opportunities that we still managed to win. In almost every recap I’ve written this year, the opening paragraph ends with a "but [good thing] happened that outweighed the bad!" clause. I can’t really think of what thatwould be for this game. It really came down to dumb luck and a small handful of timely hits, the biggest one coming from a dudes who didn’t start the game.
Danny Salazar was just a mess tonight. Absolutely low energy. Sad! He barely made it through four innings, battling a lack of control, a tight strike zone, a vague feeling of illness and most importantly, a lack of "stuff." Danny was serving up crappier meatballs than a Subway franchise, and exited in the 5th inning without recording an out. By that point, the Nationals were up 4-2. This is where the Nats first started succumbing to some shockingly vengeful BABIP gods. After Trea Turner reach on an error-not-ruled-an-error by Jason Kipnis, Bryce Harper hit a weak grounder that eliminated Turner at 2nd base (Harper finished the game 0-5). Daniel Murphy followed up with a sizzling smash down the 1st base line - right into Mike Napoli’s glove for an easy double play. Blowout avoided, for now.
In the 6th, the Nats tacked on another run thanks to a Wilson Ramos leadoff homer against bullpen jabroni Mike Manship. The Nats then worked themselves into a 1st & 3rd with no outs situation, only to line into another double play and weakly ground out to avoid scoring several more runs.
Meanhwile, the Tribe offense had some ineptitude of their own to display. After a Carlos Santana RBI sac fly in the 2nd, the bats floated along listlessly for most of the rest of the game. They managed a few hits against Gio Gonzalez but couldn’t string them together in a reasonable sequence. They had a golden opportunity in the 6th when Abe Almonte smacked a one-out double and was driven home by a pinch-hit Lonnie Chisenhall single. Rajai Davis was having none of that, though, and promptly grounded into a double play to end the inning. The 7th was similarly depressing. A runners on 1st & 3rd with no out situation led to just one run thanks to another pathetic GIDP, this time courtesy of Mike Napoli. 5-4 Nats at this point, heading to the 9th.
The game up until this point was a total gong show, but the 9th consisted of two of the most bizarre half innings I’ve seen in a long time. In the top half, the Nats tacked on what should’ve been their 10th run or so but in reality was only their 6th. And they didn’t even need to hit the ball out of the infield. The sequence of events speaks for itself:
- Anthony Rendon reaches on Juan Uribe’s second error of the night
- Ryan Zimmerman flies out
- Bryan Shaw hits Danny Espinosa with a pitch
- Ben Revere "singles" on a ball that traveled about three feet from home plate, which Bryan Shaw had to hop over so Chris Gimenez could attempt to make a play on
- Trea Turner reaches on an error when Mike Napoli bobbled a soft, routine grounder, then dropped his attempt to pick the ball up offthe ground; Danny Espinosa scored
Shaw managed to record two more outs, but it looked grim heading into the bottom of the 9th. Long-time d-bag nemesis Jonathan Papelbon was set to close out the game for the Nats, but a leadoff walk followed by a Tyler Naquin RBI double got the rally drum beating. The Indians did their best to throw away the opportunity, but the Nats pooped the bed even harder. Chris Gimenez laid down a perfect sac bunt, but Ryan Zimmerman threw the ball away to allow the tying run to score. After an intentional walk to Chiz, Rajai Davis laid down one of the worst bunts ever, popping it up to 3rd base. Only thing was, Anthony Rendon was charging in anticipation of the bunt, and the ball went over his head for a "single." After Kipnis flew out, Francisco Lindor played hero and delivered a walkoff single to secure the Tribe’s least-deserved win of the season.
I don’t know what else to say about this game, other than that I have no desire to watch the "highlights" and will gladly accept another mark in the W column. Oh, and because the Tigers won, I’ll leave you with this:
Wait, Papelbon blew that save against the Indians? Fire him into the sun.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) July 27, 2016