For those of you that subscribe to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, this game ended way too late to make the morning edition.
Thankfully, your intrepid IPL blogger is here to provide the recap you probably need (because you were smart and went to bed at a reasonable time like the fine citizen that you are).
This game was slow torture (emphasis on slow — this game took over five hours), but it was also beautiful. Danny Salazar continues to impress me with his stuff and attitude — I really think he’s a far better prospect than Trevor Bauer and I am really excited for this kid’s future. He went 5.1 innings in this game, didn’t factor into the decision, and gave up a lead-off home run to J. B. Shuck, but that was the only run he allowed. He struck out seven in this game, allowing just the one run with two walks and three hits. I’ve said this on Twitter, and I’ll say it here: I haven’t seen an Indians pitcher pass the eye test as well as Salazar does since Cliff Lee. I remember going to Opening Day in 2003 (I think?) and seeing Lee pitch; I had no idea who he was, but I left the ballpark that day impressed — and all he did was win the Cy Young (we won’t talk about 2007).
But that’s enough about Salazar. He pitched roughly a third of this game.
C.J. Wilson for the Angels was better than Salazar tonight, but that is to be expected. Wilson went 7.1 innings, and held the Indians to two hits until Carlos Santana sent a pitch juuuuust over Peter Bourjos’ glove in center for a solo shot to tie the game in the top of the 8th. I don’t know about anyone else, but I could swear I saw the ball land in Bourjos’ glove… in any case, I don’t think my fiancee appreciated my gregarious expression of frustration, then excitement. She’s a tough girl, though, and she can deal with a little noise.
But that’s enough about C.J. Wilson and Carlos Santana’s home run. This was in the eighth inning, so this game was practically in its infancy!
After the game was tied, it became a cavalcade of relievers for both teams. The Indians attempted to lose the game on numerous occasions, but terrible clutch hitting and fantastic defense (by the Angels and Indians, respectively), pushed this game into the fourteenth inning. Credit Asdrubal Cabrera with a fantastic, game-saving sliding snag and throw in the 10th, and credit Michael Bourn with an equally fantastic, game-saving catch against the wall in the 12th inning.
At this point in the evening/morning, I, like many Tribe fans, was relegated to my couch, fighting drowsiness and begging for relief from this misery. I wanted to go to bed, but my fandom and pride wouldn’t let me. I just hoped for a quick resolution… oh, and what a resolution it was!
In the top of the 14th inning, the Angels brought in Joe Blanton, who has been downright awful this year… in fact, he’s basically been the negative image of Max Scherzer of the Tigers, in that he has a 2-14 record, an ERA over 6.00, and he came into this game having allowed 28 home runs.
Make that 29.
Drew Stubbs, my favorite player (what can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment) teed off of Blanton after Lonnie Chisenhall lined a single, turning a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead. The Indians would tack on another run later in the inning, but the big story (for me) is who would seal the deal for the Tribe: Carlos Carrasco.
Sadly, the Indians scored one inning too late for Carrasco to get a save opportunity, but he did get the win, and he did pitch in the bottom of the 14th. I won’t get into it too deeply (because it’s 3:30am and goodness gracious I don’t know if I can be coherent much longer), but I thought his slider had some nice bite to it. I swear, if he was a full time reliever and was a strict fastball/slider/change guy, he could be absolutely devastating. He wasn’t perfect tonight, but he definitely looked strong out there.
The Indians will go for the sweep tomorrow night… or is it tonight? I don’t even know anymore… anyway, the next time 7:05pm EST rolls around, the Indians will be playing for a sweep.
Until then, get some sleep.