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Possible comeback ruined by awful defense, Indians lose 5-4

This is a new way to lose.

MLB: New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This game started off pretty terribly. Mike Clevinger took 25 pitches to get through the first inning, and by the time he got the third out, the Yankees were up 3-0. A changeup that hung up in the zone for Gregorious was promptly blasted a home run to center field. This 3-run shot should’ve been a 2-run shot, but home plate umpire Ed Hickox made a silly call:

It’s not a completely egregious call. but instead of walking back to the dugout, Aaron Judge fouled off another pitch before hitting a single. Didi then hit the second pitch he saw for a home run. I don’t blame Hickox for the loss, but he certainly didn’t help. And I’ve been on the #RobotUmpire train for a while, and this game just further solidified my belief that this technology should be implemented yesterday.

Clevinger settled down for the majority of the rest of his time in the game, bouncing back in the very next inning and needing just 11 pitches to get through the second. His fastball was electric, hitting 95 mph routinely and his curveball paired wonderfully with the heater, getting many hitters to swing and miss. A mistake pitch to Gregorious in the 1st and a fastball over the heart of the plate (a tad low) to Greg Bird in the sixth were really his only mistakes. He allowed four earned runs on the evening. He did allow a fifth run, but I won’t fault Clevinger for that.

On the very first pitch of the seventh inning, CATCHER Austin Romine lofted a double in the gap in right center field. There has been much debate on whether Greg Allen would have made the catch that Brandon Guyer didn’t. There’s no way to know, but I do think that Allen would’ve had a better shot at making the play than Guyer had. However, according to baseball savant, the ball left the bat at 98.2 mph and had a hit probability of 41%. To me, that says that the ball would not be a hit more often than falling for a hit. Regardless, Guyer didn’t get there in time to make the catch. Instead, it bounced to the wall and Guyer chased it down. But the issue was compounded when Guyer bobbled the ball on the pick up, signaling to Romine to turn on the afterburners and motor to third. The relay throw was fielded by Erik Gonzalez who spun and threw to Jose Ramirez at third base. But instead of being caught by Jose, the ball bounced off of a sliding Romine and bounced into foul territory and over the guard rail into the Cleveland dugout. This allowed Romine to advance home to score the game-deciding run. Everything on this play was a nightmare.

The Indians were in the game up to this point, however, thanks in large part to Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, and Brandon Guyer. Jose Ramirez blasted his league leading 29th home run in the first inning. Michael Brantley then grounded out in the third and scored Erik Gonzalez from third. Fast forward to the sixth inning. Michael Brantley hit a ground ball deep into the hole between second and short and second baseman Tyler Wade had no play. Ramirez walked and a ground out by Edwin Encarnacion allowed both runners to advance into scoring position. And, as everyone predicted, Brandon Guyer hit a sharp grounder to third base that Miguel Andujar took too long to play. His throw to first was wide and allowed Guyer to reach safely. Some heads up base running by Jose Ramirez allowed him to score from second and tie the game. Unfortunately, the Yakety-Sax shenanigans described above happened in the next half inning, and the Indians were unable to mount another comeback.

Tid Tribebits

  • I’m not sure who at the network decided to put a microphone on Francisco Lindor, but that person deserves a raise and a promotion. The soundbites from Lindor in between innings were a joy.
  • Just as Yan Gomes was coming up to bat in the ninth inning, it was announced over the ballpark PA system that Gomes would be replacing an injured Wilson Ramos at the All-Star Game. This is Gomes’ first ASG selection and the first time since 1999 that the Indians are sending 6 representatives. Congratulations, Yan!

A series tie is still possible. Trevor Bauer goes up against Masahiro Tanaka tomorrow in the final game before the All-Star break.