A good pitchers’ duel reminds me of a game of chicken. Both guys grit their teeth and dig in and wait for somebody to blink. In Rebel without a Cause, new kid James Dean plays a game of chicken with Corey Allen, suburban gang-leader extraordinaire. They drive towards a cliff; first one to jump is a chicken. Pretty simple game. James Dean jumps first. Corey Allen gets his jacket caught on the door handle and technically wins the chicken run (but going over a cliff and dying kind of makes it a Pyrrhic victory). James Dean loses the chicken run but wins Natalie Wood and the hearts of filmgoers everywhere, proving that a real stud doesn’t need to win every battle, just the war.
Which brings me to tonight’s game. It’s not that the Indians blinked first. It may take 1,000 innings, but no game will remain scoreless forever. However, it’s what you do after the other team scores that counts. The Angels scored first when Erik Aybar hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Howard Kendrick in the 5th inning. Then, in the 7th, Kendrick hit a solo home run. Still, this didn’t have to seal the deal.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Indians had the bases loaded with no outs and couldn’t bring in anybody around. In fact, we were 0-5 with runners in scoring position. Getting five hits and three walks out of a guy like Jered Weaver should be an accomplishment, but it’s only an accomplishment if you can put them together in a way that scores runs.
Jimenez pitched a pretty darn good game. I’d even go so far as to say he was a stud out there for about seven innings. Then, in the top of the 8th, he intentionally walked Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. With the bases loaded, Alberto Callaspo walked to score Erik Aybar and make the score 3-0. Whatever hopes Indians fans had of a late inning comeback seemed to fade away right there.
Just to clarify:
Chasing down Albert Pujols at second=studly play.
Walking in a run=non-studly play.
Blowing a bases-loaded-with-no-outs opportunity=non-studly play.
Now that we have that cleared up, let’s hope Tuesday’s game turns out better than this one.