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Walk-off home run sinks Tribe in extras

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It wasn’t as bad as it could have been

Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

To be fair, Cody Allen wasn’t even supposed to pitch today.

Dating back to June 3, Allen had made four appearances for a total of 3.1 innings coming into tonight. Tito said before the game that he wasn’t going to pitch Allen today in an effort to give him some down time. Tito didn’t anticipate today’s game going into extras and burning through just about every arm in his ‘pen, forcing him to put Allen in in the 12th inning. His home run to Jeimer Candelario ended the game and tied the series at one.

But before the 12th inning, Cleveland and Detroit engaged in a see-saw battle for 11 innings thanks in large part to Mike Clevinger and Mike Fiers. Fiers made it through the 7th inning and wiggled out of a couple of self-induced jams, and Clevinger settled in after a rocky first inning and, at one point, retired 17 Tigers in a row. The first Detroit run came in the 1st inning on a Victor Martinez line drive. Cleveland responded two innings later in the form of a Yan Gomes home run. Both offenses then went quiet until the 7th inning.

The 7th inning came around and Clevinger found trouble almost immediately. After striking out Candelario, Victor Martinez, James McCann, and JaCoby Jones all singled to load the bases (Martinez was actually the first Detroit hitter to reach base since he reached base way back in the first inning). Jose Iglesias came to the plate and worked the count full before Clevinger lost him on an outside fastball to walk in the go-ahead run.

Louis Coleman took over for Fiers in the 8th and served up a fastball to Rajai Davis and:

The Tribe’s best chance to win in extras came in the 11th inning when Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez walked back to back to start the inning. Actual MLB pitcher Warwick Saupold replaced other actual MLB pitcher Buck Farmer, and his first order of business was to get Lonald Reginald Chisenhall to pop out on a bunt. I hate bunting, but this wasn’t a bad spot to try to move the runners over. The execution was awful, but not the worst situation to bunt in. Yonder Alonso and Jason Kipnis flew out and lined out to end the threat.

Back to Cody Allen. Allen came on to replace Zach McAllister to start the 12th inning despite it being reported that he would not pitch in this game. Up to this point in the game, the oft-maligned Cleveland bullpen had pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless baseball, which I’m not sure they’ve done since 1942. Neil Ramirez was the standout performer of the night, going 2 shutout innings and giving up just 1 hit. But the scoreless streak ended when Cody Allen left a fastball up in the zone for Candelario to bash. It quickly entered the stands at 108 mph and the game was over.

When the game ended, Tyler Olson and Evan Marshall were still available in the bullpen, and Tito easily could’ve went to either one of them. Especially if he had previously said that Cody would be off for the day, there wasn’t really a point in burning him in the 12th inning when the assumption is that he may be available tomorrow. Now, with a day game the day after a rain-delayed night game, it’s almost a certainty that Cody Allen won’t be available tomorrow. Hopefully the Indians won’t need him.

The rubber match tomorrow features Corey Kluber and Artie Lewicki at 1:10 pm.