If baseball games were only one inning long, the Indians would be celebrating a walk-off victory tonight. And if I looked like Jon Hamm, I’d be dating actresses and supermodels.
Starting pitcher Zach McAllister struck out all three batters he faced in the first inning, and Nick Swisher hit a solo home run off A’s starter Sonny Gray. It’s always nice to get an early lead and play from ahead.
That lead lasted about five minutes, maybe ten. Brandon Moss led off the second with a double, and Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie each singled, thus tying the game. McAllister then walked Derek Norris to load the bases. Two pitches later, Josh Reddick hit a ball hard over the right-field wall. Fox Sports Ohio announcer Rick Manning declared “That’s a grand slam!” before the ball had gotten anywhere near the outfield. That put the A’s up 5-1. McAllister wasn’t done giving up runs, though. After finally recording an out, he went on to walk two more batters before giving up a three-run homer to Josh Donaldson and earning himself an early trip to the showers.
So let’s review: 1.1 IP, 5 hits, 8 runs, all earned, 3 walks, 2 homers. No es bueno, Zach. No es bueno.
Terry Francona brought out Kyle Crockett, fresh from Class AA Akron, to make his major league debut and to try to stop the bleeding. Crockett walked Brandon Moss, but then got Yoenis Cespedes to hit into an inning-ending double play. Crockett later gave up a home run, and so did Carlos Carrasco, who worked four innings of mop-up relief.
The Indians hitters were just as ineffective as McAllister tonight. Michael Brantley singled in the third, and that was all the hitting the team would do until David Murphy reached on an infield single in the bottom of the ninth. Swish’s homer, and these two singles: that makes three base hits on the evening. The A’s had more hits than that in a ten-minute span. For the record, the final score was A’s 11, Indians 1, although this game was over about 25 minutes after it began.
I had thought about attending tonight’s game, but the weather forecast looked bleak, so I decided to watch it at home instead. That turned out to be a pretty good call on my part, as it was indeed rainy and cold.
There was a fireworks display after the game, set to the music of Bruce Springsteen. I like fireworks, and I like Bruce, but even that wouldn’t have done much to cheer me up. Instead, I lit a candle and put on the most appropriate Springsteen song I could think of for a night like this.
I do have a ticket for tomorrow’s game, in which ex-Indian Scott Kazmir faces off against Josh Tomlin. There will be more fireworks, set this time to the worst music in the world, that of 80s hair metal bands. I hope the game is a good one, because I plan to be in my car before I have to hear a single note of that noise.