The Indians pulled to within four games out of the final Wild Card spot thanks to the heroics of Michael Brantley. But instant replay may have played an equally big part in keeping the Indians’ hopes alive.
You can hear the wails of baseball purists who decry the lessening of the clichéd “human element” in baseball. But if this game happened a couple years ago, it could’ve been one of those swing games that would’ve potentially doomed the Indian’s season.
The first instance was a scorekeeper’s nightmare, so I won’t bother you with the official “who-touched-what,” but know this: Even our own Rick Manning thought the Tigers had a two-run lead, so, Technology: 1, Human Element: 0. The second time happened in the seventh, as the Tigers thought they had taken a 4-3 lead, only to find that Yan Gomes had thwarted them again by the slimmest of margins, and the call was overturned. Technology: 2, Human Element: 0.
(Maybe I’m just jaded and a homer, but I can’t recall any time other than tonight where there were two replays in a game that both went the Indians’ way, and were clear and inarguable reversals.)
Danny Salazar (6.1 INN/7 H/3 ER/3 SO/3 BB) was solid in his rematch against Alfredo Simon (6.2 INN/9 H/5 ER/5 SO/3 BB), who dominated the Indians last week in Detroit.
But Michael Brantley supplied the big hits to take a leaky Bryan Shaw off the hook with a leadoff homer in the seventh. Dr. Smooth put the Good Guys up for good in the eighth.
And a couple more things: How good are Lindor, Urshela, Almonte and Ramirez right now? Without them, the Indians wouldn’t even be in shouting distance, and yet, here they are; coming up with huge hits and miraculous defensive plays seemingly every day. The Indians more than likely won’t be facing the Blue Jays or Yankees in October, but man, the future seems bright for this team. It was on display tonight.
W: Cody Allen (2-4); L: Blaine Hardy (4-3)