The Indians have traditionally had problems with noontime games. My partner in crime here at ItsPronouncedLajaway, Stephanie Liscio, noted that going into today’s game, the Indians were 1-8 in 12:05 weekday home games over the 2011 and 2012 seasons and had been outscored 62-24 in those games. The last time they won a noontime game was April 7, 2011, when they beat the Red Sox 1-0. They also haven’t done too well in extra inning games this season. Going into today’s game, the Indians were 1-4 in extra inning games. And then a friend posted something on Facebook about Venus going into retrograde. I’m not big on astrology, but I will admit to being a superstitious baseball fan. Venus in retrograde means something like you’re going to “relive past life experiences in order to sort out karmic issues.” All in all, it didn’t sound promising.
Plus, Zach McAllister was starting. He did not impress me last season (he started 4 games, pitched a total of 17.2 innings for a 6.11 ERA and a 1.868 WHIP) . He’s improved somewhat to a 4.34 ERA (including today’s game). If the offense is working and can score more than four runs a game, then all is well, but I’d prefer a starter with a sub-4.00 ERA. My personal jury is still out on McAllister.
All the signs pointed to an Indians loss.
I had the game on MLB.com Gameday at work and kept waiting for the Indians to score. It took seven innings, but finally they got a run on the boards. It started with Casey Kotchman slowly inching his way past the Mendoza line with a single to lead off the inning. A Jason Kipnis walk moved him to second and an Asdrubal Cabrera single brought him home. Kotchman surprised me again in the 8th with a double. Then Jose Lopez hit a three-run homer, which both tied up the game and settled any lingering karmic issues he might have had with the Seattle Mariners, a team that traded him, a 2006 All-Star, in December 2010 for minor leaguer Chaz Roe (who is still in the minors).
Then it was time for extra innings. When the Mariners scored one run in the top of the 11th, I figured the double whammy of a noontime game and an extra inning game was just too much. Then in the bottom of the 11th, something miraculous happened. The Mariners put in reliever Brandon League, who went into the game with a 2.12 ERA and left it with a 3.12 ERA. Going in he also had a 9.18 career ERA against the Indians. With the game on the line, he wouldn’t be the guy I put it in, but apparently Eric Wedge felt that League had to relive some past life experiences to sort out his karmic issues. Fortunately for the Indians, Brandon League didn’t get the job done. He walked Jose Lopez and Jason Kipnis, then gave up a single to Asdrubal Cabrera that scored Lopez. Pinch hitter Aaron Cunningham walked, then Carlos Santana hit a walk-off single to score Kipnis. Game over. Smooth. Venus can go into retrograde any darn time it wants provided the Indians win.