The series in Minnesota reminds me of the Bizarro Jerry episode of Seinfeld, where George does everything opposite and is suddenly successful, Kramer gets a real job, and Elaine gets Bizarro Jerry friends. We should have known something was up when the Indians won both games of a doubleheader against the Twins (the first time they swept a doubleheader in Minnesota since 1961?) on the pitching of David Huff, who was 2-11 for the Tribe last year and was just brought up from AAA Columbus, and Fausto Carmona, who came off the DL hours before his start, got his second win in 12 starts, and pitched slowly and deliberately and didn’t get flustered. (And they got the go-ahead run the second game on a homer by Lou Marson?) Bizarre.
Last night’s game started out in the normal world (or what’s become normal for the Indians this year). Justin Masterson pitched 7.2 shutout innings, giving up only four hits. I was watching the game with my husband, and there were a couple of points where it looked like the Indians might falter. In the top of the 5th, with the bases loaded, Orlando Cabrera popped out to short. When Asdrubal Cabrera came up, took a couple of balls, then swung and missed at a low slider that should have been ball three, my husband got frustrated and walked out of the room. He’s an old-school Indians fan who always thinks the worst. A couple minutes later, I called down to the basement where he was playing computer games that Cabrera had flied out to right and Marson had scored from third. That brought him back to the room where he stayed until the bottom of the 7th. Then Mauer singled on an error and Cuddyer singled. Then Jim Thome came up to bat. “Oh #(@*. Forget it,” my husband said and left the room. Again, a minute or so later I called down to the basement that Thome had struck out. A double-play ended the inning and the Tribe still had that little 1-0 lead.
It seemed like a no-brainer. Masterson was still strong going into the 8th, then Sipp came in for the final out. I figured that Chris Perez would come in for the 9th inning, do that flamethrowing thing he does, and that would be it. I didn’t realize that we were in Bizzaro World. Somehow the Baseball Gods got confused and scattered Late-Inning Magic Dust onto the Twins’ dugout instead of the Indians dugout and the Don of the Bullpen Mafia gave up two runs. Bizarre.
Josh Tomlin is starting the final game of the series tonight, which in the normal world would bode well. In Bizarro World, I don’t know what will happen. Maybe he’ll get shelled and pulled after three innings and Chad Durbin will come in and not tank. That’d be bizarre too.