The Cleveland Indians defeated the Texas Rangers 15-9 tonight in one of the strangest and most exhilarating baseball games you’re likely to see all season. A game like this is difficult to distill and describe in one cohesive narrative. Rebounding from a 9-2 deficit, the Indians scored 13 unanswered runs in the biggest come-from-behind win since 2012. Perhaps Rick Manning described it best when saying, “This game went from a rout to a rout.”
Rather than take away the essence of what happened tonight, I’d prefer to use twitter and reddit to show, as the game progressed, how the mood of the evening changed in Indians fandom.
Well with this offense it doesn't matter whose pitching you can just chalk it up as a loss. I feel bad for Kluber having to pitch here.— Jeff Peters (@jpets1) June 26, 2017
While the evening started off rough, it turned downright ugly very fast. The mood became dark.
Walk, walk, boom. Carrasco gives up a 3-run homer to Andrus with 1 out in the second. It's 7-1 Rangers.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 26, 2017
At least I'll get to watch Erik Gonzalez pitch tonight.— Nick Fink (@finkn23) June 26, 2017
Can't wait to tell my grandkids about that one week in 2017 when the Indians were good.— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) June 26, 2017
Stop grasping at straws Jensen. This team is embarrassing right now.— Rick Bartchak (@RickBartchak) June 27, 2017
Pitching aside, the bats need to either pretend they're* in another park or wake the fuck up already and support their starters https://t.co/oNgRr6lYDE— Trust In Tito ⚾️ (@cle_ItIsGone) June 26, 2017
Perez squaring to bunt, after a leadoff single, down 7-1, is everything.— Evan Dawson (@evandawson) June 27, 2017
If Indians lose today, it would be first time they've lost at least four in a row since July 23-28, 2015 (six losses in a row). https://t.co/eC59utxAnw— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 27, 2017
Indians almost turned that corner last week pic.twitter.com/WoYQeUrJwr— Joe Frasco (@Joe_Frasco) June 27, 2017
It's only the end of the 2nd, but the Indians are already 1-for-6 with RISP and have stranded 4. Yesterday, 1-for-8 w/RISP & 10 LOB in 9 inn— Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio) June 27, 2017
[Jonathan Lucroy vetoes trade to CLE]— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 27, 2017
[CLE fans boo Jonathan Lucroy when he bats in CLE]
[Lucroy's bat goes flying into the stands]
The one good thing is that Hamels is already at 60 pitches. Even though he's been iffy, I'd still rather take my chances w/that bullpen.— Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio) June 27, 2017
Then, the Indians manager started to feel sick again and had to step away from the game. It seemed like everything would continue to go wrong for the Indians. Or, maybe, would it serve as a catalyst?
Indians manager Terry Francona isn't feeling well again and will not return to the dugout tonight— Andre Knott (@DreKnott) June 27, 2017
Terry Francona is feeling ill, will not return tonight.— #VoteTribe 5x a day (@Indians) June 27, 2017
Brad Mills will manage the rest of the game. We'll update on Tito when available.
Bottom of the fifth inning begins, and so does the comeback
Chisenhall beats out the throw on an infield single to first, scoring Jose Ramirez. Score: 9-4
Nice hustle, Lonnie!— Mandi (@CleTribeGirl) June 27, 2017
Roberto Perez draws a bases loaded walk. Score: 9-5
Walk them in.— Trust In Tito ⚾️ (@cle_ItIsGone) June 27, 2017
Whatever it takes.
Create your situation
And don't you dare take advantage of these gift runs.
Just get your boys home.
Bradley Zimmer hits a nubber in the infield, but beats out the throw to first, scoring a run and dodging an inning-ending double play. Score: 9-6
Francisco Lindor singles, scoring Lonnie Chisenhall. Score: 9-7, inning ending a moment later with a Kipnis out.
Meanwhile, Dan Otero, Boone Logan, and Bryan Shaw shut the Rangers down in the top of the sixth. This set the stage for the following...
If rain comes and slows this comeback........... pic.twitter.com/j1pdrLabO9— Wahoo's on First (@WahoosOnFirst) June 27, 2017
'Los RBI single makes it a one-run game!— #RallyTogether! (@Indians) June 27, 2017
The Rangers make another move in the bullpen, putting in a lefty against Brandon Guyer.
He singles. Lonnie Chisenhall comes to the plate and continues his phenomenal offensive campaign:
I don't normally post Hammy Calls of RBI singles, but Lonnie's was special. pic.twitter.com/orTYd27MUq— Monte the Color Man (@Monte_Colorman) June 27, 2017
The onslaught continued, and it was glorious.
All of us tweeting smartass tweets earlier: pic.twitter.com/nXaLG6sUnD— Joe Frasco (@Joe_Frasco) June 27, 2017
Perez, last 40 plate appearances: .286/.375/.486, five runs scored, five extra-base hits, five walks, and 4.60 pitches per.— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) June 27, 2017
Indians went 1-for-23 with RISP in last three games. They are 11-for-28 with RISP tonight.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 27, 2017
The Indians haven't lost 4 straight since July 2015. Since then, the other 29 MLB teams have combined for 306(!) losing streaks of 4+ games.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 27, 2017
And now, a brief summation
Not only did the Indians complete an insane comeback tonight, but a number of other ludicrous things happened
- The Twins lost, and so the Indians are back in first place
- The leadoff hitter reached base in every single inning for the Indians
- Jose Ramirez is now in the top 8 in fWAR for all of baseball.
- Every single Indians hitter recorded a hit, and Jason Kipnis is the only one to log only one.
- Roberto Perez tried to sacrifice bunt at one point but ended up walking instead. He raised his OBP percentage by more than 25 points.
Looking back on the 2016 season, it feels like a season of huge moments to me. The winning streak, culminating in the marathon 19 inning win over the Blue Jays. The inside-the-park walk-off by Tyler Naquin, punctuated with the arrival of the Chisentray. Rajai Davis hitting for the cycle. The slug bunt. Napoli nearly breaking the scoreboard. The blockbuster trade to get Miller, and his subsequent dominance. The three home runs off of Rick Porcello in one inning to start the ALDS. Kluber striking out eight through three innings to start the World Series. And the entire rollercoaster that was Game 7 of the World Series.
I know that I’m missing some moments, and if so, it’s because I’m basking in this one. I hope we can look back at tonight 87 games from now and recognize it as the first of many incredible nights of Indians summer baseball.
Tomorrow the Indians play the Rangers again, and good lord do I feel bad for the Texas bullpen.