Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most, even if the little things aren’t of your own doing.
Let’s be fair, the Indians spent most of this game not doing much of anything. The offense, so hot in Arlington, has vanished since Monday night and it has left a wobbly rotation and a taxed bullpen to mostly fend for itself. Today was much of the same, really, as the Indians left small cities on base all day. Add in that Mike Napoli robbed a surging Carlos Santana (MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, crow…) and Michael Brantley of almost certain RBI base hits, it seemed like Jake Peavy (6 INN/7 H/ 1 ER/5 SO/2BB) was going to be able to hold the fort until the hot Red Sox hitters would get their feet underneath them.
TJ House (5.1 INN/7 H/2 ER/3 SO/1 BB) was up to the task in doing his part to make sure that wasn’t going to happen. Thanks in large part to a pair of double-plays, House kept Boston off-balance even while battling the inconsistent strikezone of umpire Sean Barber. House’s lone blemish was a two-out rocket double from David Ortiz that seemed to get lost in the sun for David Murphy.
However, Michael Bourn would come around to score on Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI double, which would level the scoring. (I’ve been watching a lot of soccer over the past few days.) And what would a game be like without a little bit of World Cup-ian controversy being thrown in for spice? In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jonny Gomes bounced into what could’ve been an easy double play if it wasn’t for a slight double-clutch from Jason Kipnis. But with a second look, it could be argued that the Red Sox stole one.
Never fear, though. The Indians ran into a familiar face in Craig Breslow to take control, as well as use an assist from baseball antagonist supreme, AJ Pierzynski. Cabrera opened the frame with a hustling infield single, and Michael Brantley sent Cabby to third with a single of his own. Jason Kipnis would then hit a grounder to Dustin Pedroia who fired home for the tag of Cabrera at the plate.
Only one problem: Pierzynski whiffed on the catch and Cabrera made it home on the eventual winner!
Bryan Shaw had to traverse some rough waters in the eighth inning, but he got Big Papi to hit right into the shift for the momentum-changing, 4-5-3 double play. Allen would close the deal in order in the ninth.
The little things loomed large today.
W: John Axford (2-3); L: Craig Breslow (2-2); S: Cody Allen (7)