The Cleveland Indians did not go quietly in their seventh straight loss — the Chicago Cubs won 6-5 on a walkoff hit-by-pitch — which is either a sign of progress or an act of cruelty. You decide.
But you know what? Delino DeShields was 3-for-3 at the plate against Yu Darvish. Two balls went over his head in fifth inning as part of a Cubs rally to tie the game, but the Indians’ center fielder had a run-scoring bunt single in the third, doubled in the fifth and came around to score, and added another double in the seventh. Good for Delino.
On the same night DeShields went 3-for-4, the Indians’ No. 2-5 hitters were a combined 0-for-16. Tyler Naquin recorded four two-out hits, but was left stranded every time (three times by Roberto Pérez and once by Sandy León, who was pinch-hitting for Perez in the eighth because Sandy Alomar Jr. is determined to sabotage any chance at a future managerial career). Francisco Lindor was the Tribe’s chief run manufacturer, bringing in two runs and drawing an intentional walk. Three runs against Darvish, who is a frontrunner for the NL Cy Young, is not bad at all, but not good enough for the American League’s worst playoff team.
Carlos Carrasco had a good night, despite giving up three runs. He scattered eight hits over six innings of work, walking one and striking out five. Chicago roughed him up a bit the third time through the order, but Carrasco’s pitches looked sharp up until that point.
James Karinchak, on the other hand, did not have a good night. His curveball was simply not there. The Cubs did not hit him very hard, but they did manage to hit the ball where the Indians weren’t. He gave up a leadoff single in the seventh to Ian Happ, who was then caught trying to steal second. Kris Bryant walked, went from first to third on an Anthony Rizzo single to right, and scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly from Willson Contreras.
The Cubs added an insurance run with an attempted hit-and-run in the eighth with Javier Baez on first. Baez ended up scoring because Sandy León air mailed the throw to second and no one in the Indians’ outfield has an arm capable of making an accurate throw home.
Francisco Lindor erased the Cubs’ 5-3 lead in the ninth with a game-tying two-run homer, but that only succeeded in prolonging the game for an extra half inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Oliver Pérez, following Karinchak’s playbook step-by-step from the seventh inning, walked Bryant with one out and then watched him go from first to second on a Rizzo single. Alomar brought in Nick Wittgren to try and stop the bleeding, but he proceeded to hit Contreras with a pitch to load the bases and then hit Cameron Maybin to plate the winning run.
Seven straight losses. This team has no business playing in October.