I must admit, I didn’t get to see all of last night’s game. I went bicycling over the Golden Gate Bridge, and we were pedaling our little legs off in order to get the bikes back to the rental place before it closed. When I finally had a chance to put the game on my phone, it was in the 6th inning and the Diamondbacks were up 3-2. I was so shocked to see Travis Buck come through for the Indians that I yelled out loud on the streetcar on our way back to the hotel. (Yes, I received a number of odd looks).
This is how I was conditioned after the San Francisco series – Asdrubal Cabrera is on base. There’s a slim chance Santana may do something (he walked). After that, I had no hope until Lonnie Chisenhall’s scheduled at bat. Even though Grady Sizemore popped up, I was pretty impressed to see Travis Buck come through in the clutch and tie the game at 3.
And how about Lonnie Chisenhall – that was a pretty impressive debut! (2 for 4, RBI) It’s as if the Indians’ brass finally heard our collective screams/begging/etc. and made some type of move. If I were in charge, I would have made a few additional moves, but at least this is a start. Offensively, while this game appeared to be a significant improvement over the San Francisco series, it seems like there were still a few missed opportunities. The Tribe was unable to score with runners at second and third with one out in the fifth. Usually, Michael Brantley is one of the people I want to see in that situation too. They still registered nine strikeouts as a team, but at least they were 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
As much as I loved Orlando Cabrera’s go-ahead home run, I have to say that my favorite part of this game was the performance by Vinnie Pestano and Rafael Perez. Obviously, Pestano is the one that created the mess in the first place, but I still never thought they’d be able to get out of that inning without the go-ahead run crossing home plate. No matter how agitated the Indians have made me this season, at the end of the day I can still pretty much think to myself “well, at least the bullpen was impressive.” During the Pittsburgh Pirates series, I was watching the Saturday night game with my cousin (a Pirates fan). At one point during the game, he asked me what the Indians’ bullpen was like (Hoping that if Carrasco got knocked out the game, the Pirates would have a chance to come back). I replied “oh that’s the best part; game over if they come in.” That was probably a bit of overconfidence (that’s what having a few beers will get you), but it’s been a few seasons since I felt any degree of confidence with an Indians bullpen. Even though they blew the lead last night, I’m still ready to complement them!
So in my opinion, this game was a dramatic improvement over the San Francisco series. Mitch Talbot had a rocky first inning, but managed to settle down. The bullpen hiccupped, and the offense managed to come through and bail them out. Dare I hope that Chisenhall provides a much needed spark from this point forward? I’m going to go ahead and say that he probably can’t do worse than Adam Everett.