Entering Wednesday night’s game, the Indians’ playoff odds were steadily shrinking. Baseball Prospectus estimated that the Tribe’s odd of making the postseason were just 12.1%. And then it happened. Chicken Al and Cody brought the mojo.
It looked like a scene out of the iconic movie Major League, starring, of course, the Cleveland Indians. With the Tribe’s playoff chances also in serious doubt, the fictional Cuban-born slugger Pedro Cerrano asked for a live chicken to sacrifice to the gods. He ended up settling for a bucket of KFC.
Last night, however, reliever Cody Allen, nicknamed “Chicken Al” by Frank Herrmann in Spring Training, brought a live chicken into the outfield during pre-game drills. The chicken, aptly named Cody, brought the mojo.
After starter Zach McAllister worked a 1-2-3 first inning, the Tribe erupted for runs in the bottom half thanks to a Yan Gomes run-scoring single and a three-run double by the recently healthy Ryan Raburn. Orioles’ starter Zach Britton would depart just two innings later.
As for McAllister, the big right-hander cruised through the first four innings, surrendering a solo dinger to center fielder Adam Jones on a questionably called slider.
The wheels would fall off the cart for McAllister just an inning later, when he served up a three-run bomb to wunderkind Manny Machado and last just one more batter before reliever Bryan Shaw entered the game.
The Tribe would get two runs back in the bottom of fifth, thanks again to Yan Gomes double and a Kevin Gausman wild pitch.
Three Cleveland relievers – Cody “Chicken Al” Allen, Joe Smith and Chris Perez – would combine to throw three hitless innings to seal the win. The Indians’ record stands at 74-65, 6.5 games back from the Tigers and 3.5 games back from a Wild Card spot.
Tribe has tonight off and look to take on the visiting Mets on Friday at Progressive Field.