Tonight’s Indians-Royals game started out as promising as Lindsay Lohan’s career did. You know how after The Parent Trap and Mean Girls she was sweet and loveable and it just seemed like she could do no wrong? The Indians had a 2nd inning like that tonight. Carlos Santana started things off with a solo home run, his 18th of the season. Santana is still only hitting .222 for the season, but he’s gone .278 in the month of July. Getting hits is pretty much the entire point of his job so it’s nice to see him finally start doing it.
Chris Dickerson then went down swinging (in fiction writing we’d call the “foreshadowing) and Nick Swisher did that thing where he hit the ball but didn’t actually get on base. It looked like Santana’s dinger was going to be it for the inning, then the Indians started a hit fest. Yan Gomes singled and David Murphy walked. A single from Mike Aviles scored Gomes. And a hard-hit double by Jason Kipnis scored both Murphy and Aviles. Jose Ramirez singled, moving Kipnis to third. A Michael Brantley double brought him home. The scored was 5-0 Indians, and fans felt like this:
Remember that feeling? It’s called “happy,” and sometimes we get to feel it during baseball games.
The Royals scored one run in the 3rd, but that was okay. You knew it wasn’t going to be a shutout. Indians’ starting pitcher Zach McAllister was going along okay for the first few innings, but he was giving up scattered hits. One run for the Royals was acceptable. Except they got greedy in the 4th. Mike Moustakas walked to start the inning and moved to 3rd on a Lorenzo Cain single. Alcides Escobar singled Moustakas home. Nori Aoki, who messed things up for the Indians on Thursday night, did so again with a triple that scored Cain and Alcides. Then Aoki had the nerve to score on a passed ball by catcher Yan Gomes. (The Indians are guests in your house and this is how you treat them?)
In the bottom of the 5th inning, I took the Nick-Hagadone-for-Zach-McAllister pitching change as an opportunity to run to the bathroom. When I came back, there was Billy Butler rounding the bases after hitting a two-run homer, making the score 5-7. My husband had been alternating between reading and watching the game with me. When the Royals tied it up in the 4th, he sighed and said “They [the Indians] won’t score another run.” Now there are times when one’s spouse is right and it’s perfectly lovely. And there are times when one’s spouse is right and it ticks you off. There was adequate reason to believe his prediction would be wrong. Going into tonight’s game, the Indians have scored 168 runs in the 7th inning or later, the most in major league baseball. Tonight they didn’t add to that total. Tomorrow my husband will say “I told you so” too many times. Plus the Indians have now lost four in a row, falling to 51-53, falling to 2.5 games behind Kansas City and 8.0 games behind Detroit. This makes Indians fans feel: