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Daniel Robertson makes MVP case in Indians 8-7 win over Reds

There’s no way the Indians win this game without Daniel Robertson. Wait, what?

Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A lot of Cleveland Indians had great games tonight. That tends to happen when you win a closely-contested shootout. Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of home runs and looks like he’s on track to finally be worth the money the Indians are paying him, Andrew Miller made several grown men look silly, and Carlos Carrasco pitched well despite not having his best stuff.

But the story of this game was undoubtedly Daniel Robertson. Given his career arc to this point, he may never get more print time than he will over the next 24 hours following his heroic effort in the Tribe’s win tonight. He started with a triple, followed that up with a great catch while running face-first into a wall, and finally he showed off a cannon arm to stop the tying run from crossing the plate in the eighth inning.

Of course, a win like this can’t happen without a few screw-ups from the opposing team, especially when that opposing team is the Cincinnati Reds. As much help as Daniel Robertson offered, the Indians probably would not have won against a competent pitching staff. Not even good, just a staff that could avoid throwing a crucial wild pitch to allow the go-ahead run to score, or maybe a coaching staff that knew to walk a batter hitting ahead of a relief pitcher before the count was already 3-1.

Andrew Miller had not batted since 2011 (or 2000-and-whatever, according to Rick Manning), but having only faced one batter in the dumpster fire that was the bottom of the seventh inning, Terry Francona trotted him out there to bat with runners on first and second and two outs so he could be used in the home side of the eighth.

Reds pitcher Drew Storen probably could have saved his arm some trouble and lobbed a few pitches underhand to tie up Miller, who had the swing of a guy who hasn’t hit since 2011. But the Reds weren’t screwing around — Storen painted the corners beautifully with a series of pitches that would have given perennial MVP candidate Daniel Robertson some second thoughts.

Do kids still say “no chill”? Did Storen have no chill here? Or was he savage? Did he fidget spin Andrew Miller? I honestly don’t know, but damn.

Worse for Miller — and the Indians offense — the reliever stud was only in this position because of a bullpen implosion in the eighth inning. The first Indians bullpen implosion in recorded human history, if my sources are correct. Boone Logan was brought in to fill his “one lefty per game” quota and Joey Votto promptly singled off him. Then Bryan Shaw, just, ouch. He allowed another single followed by a three-run homer and suddenly the game was tied at seven.

I’m not about to spend this entire recap defending Bryan Shaw, because this day belongs to Daniel Robertson, but maybe consider laying off. I had the audacity to say that he might not be Satan incarnate on Twitter and got a steady stream of polite dissenting opinions for the rest of the game. The people love Bryan Shaw, there is no doubt.