The good news: Ben Gamel’s miraculous diving catch was overturned and the Indians scored two runs to bring them within two runs of catching up the Seattle Mariners. I have a new mechanical keyboard so typing this recap feels like heaven. This concludes our good news portion of the recap.
Please refer to the remainder of this recap for the bad news.
Let’s start with that Gamel catch. With the bases loaded and two outs, Jose Ramirez smacked a pitch to deep left field where not-Mike Clevinger made a tremendous diving catch... then dropped it. Major League Baseball defines that cleanly as a non-catch, but if we were playing a game with a certain oval pigskin ball, who knows what the call would have been — certainly not the refs.
Anyway, it was ruled that Ramirez doubled, which seems fair, but only two runs scored. Tom Hamilton lost his dang mind over this, and it’s understandable why. There were two outs and the runners went on contact; if Ramirez got a double naturally, if the third-base umpire correctly called it a hit, there’s no way Francisco Lindor doesn’t score. But the umpiring crew saw it differently after looking at the replay. It seemed like a big deal at the time, after all it was the difference between a 4-6 game and a 5-6 game at a time when five runs seems almost impossible for this team. To that effect, Terry Francona argued after the replay, but the decision was made and it didn’t change anything.
That’s pretty depressing, but keep in mind it was arguably the best thing to happen on the field today.
The worst is what I aptly call “Yan Gomes’ No Good Very At-Bat.” Not because of anything Gomes did, but just the opposite, actually.
Josh Tomlin was miserable to start the game, giving up four straight hits in the second inning, including a back-breaking Robinson Cano homer that put the Indians an 0-5 hole. As Rick Manning would tell you multiple times through that inning, it all came with two outs. What makes it even worse is that a lot of things might have been avoided with a throw by Francisco Lindor.
The first run of that fateful inning came off the bat of Ryan Healy, who narrowly scored a runner from first on a laser to left field (huh, a runner scoring from first with two outs, imagine that). Michael Brantley relayed a throw to Francisco Lindor, who caught it just past third base on the foul line and Yan Gomes was in place to make a dramatic, but very doable, tag at home if Lindor’s throw was anywhere near the mark. But it wasn’t even close. Gomes had to pop up to save the ball from hitting the backstop and a run scored as a result. Directly following that, the Mariners scored four more runs instead of jogging off the field with the game tied at zero.
Tomlin isn’t blameless in all of this, of course. His throw to Healy was nowhere near where Gomes called for it, and Gomes was visibly annoyed when he stood up and watch the ball sail into left field. It was just a mess of a play from beginning to end and Yan Gomes did everything he was supposed to, yet forced to watch everything collapse around him ala A Clockwork Orange.
As for the other runs the Mariners scored, they managed to do it in the most heartbreaking way possible with the dreaded “response runs.” A mere half-inning away from when the Indians scored their two runs, Seattle bounced back with three of their own to make the previously unscalable mountain into an unscalable mountain covered in hungry lions and Mitch Haniger with a baseball bat.
Josh Tomlin’s earned run average now sits at 9.16 on the season, which is cute when it’s a reliever having a bad game that takes a while to even out. But this is a guy who has started four games and looked terrible in three of them. If he wants to be 2017 Josh Tomlin and rip off a series of great games any day, I’d welcome it with open arms.