It’s been said that when you go to a baseball game, there’s a chance you’ll see something you’ve never seen before—a triple play, a perfect game, a fly ball bouncing off the head of outfielder Jose Canseco for a home run, etc. If you were one of the 10,342 people who attended last night’s Indians-Twins game at Progressive Field, you got to see something that no one has ever seen before: a game wherein the Indians used no fewer than ten different pitchers.
Someday you might win a bar bet by being able to name them all, so here they are, in order of appearance: David Huff, Chris Seddon, Frank Herrmann, Cody Allen, Scott Barnes, Vinnie Pestano, Chris Perez, Joe Smith, Esmil Rogers, and Scott Maine. This cavalcade of arms was made possible by the expanded September roster, and it was made necessary by the fact that last night’s game took 12 innings to play. The Twins won the game, 6-5, thereby putting the two teams in a tie for fourth place in the AL Central.
The Indians had a great opportunity to win the game in the tenth inning, when Jason Kipnis led off with a single and advanced to third on a misplayed grounder off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera. Men on first and third, no outs, game over, right? Reader, please: these are the Cleveland Indians we’re talking about. Carlos Santana and Russ Canzler made the first two outs of the inning by hitting weak fly balls to the outfield, neither of which was deep enough to allow Kipnis to tag up and score from third. Lonnie Chisenhall then had the chance to get a walk-off hit, the way he did last Sunday, but he too flied out, ending the inning. After the game, Indians manager Manny Acta was quoted as saying “If you can’t drive in the runner from third with no outs to walk off a team, you pretty much don’t deserve to win the ballgame.” He will never utter a truer sentence.
The Twins took the lead in the twelfth inning thanks to some addleheaded defense on the part of Tribe first baseman Matt LaPorta. With two outs and Darin Mastroianni on second, Alexi Casilla hit a grounder to Jason Kipnis in shallow right. Kipnis threw to first, where he could have retired Casilla had LaPorta been at the bag. But LaPorta was a few paces away, and didn’t get there in time for the putout. What’s worse, LaPorta then stood there, derp-like, for a second or two before realizing that Mastroianni, who broke with the swing of Casilla’s bat, never stopped running and was about to score the go-ahead run. LaPorta threw to the plate, too late. The Twins tacked on another run on two more singles to go up 6-4. Carlos Santana made things interesting with a two-out solo homer in the bottom half of the inning, but the Twins held on for the victory.
The Indians are now 3-7 for the season in extra-inning games.