They say God helps those who help themselves. Sometimes the Baseball Gods will even help those who only help themselves some of the time. This was kind of the situation for the Indians on Thursday night against the Kansas City Royals. The Royals committed a bunch of errors, but the Indians didn’t seem fully capable of capitalizing on them.
Jason Kipnis started off the Indians’ half of the 1st inning with a single. Michael Brantley reached base on a fielding error by Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. With two men on and only one out, the Indians could have scored first (which has been their recipe for success this season), but they didn’t.
The Indians managed to score in the 2nd innning on a scoring error by Royals left fielder Ben Zobrist. With Jose Ramirez on 2nd and Giovanny Urshela on 3rd, Jason Kipnis hit a line drive single to left. Zobrist’s throw to home was off, sending Royals catcher Salvador Perez scurrying behind the plate. Ramirez scored from 2nd, which isn’t surprising with his speed. Giovanny Urshela scoring from 1st was helped not only by Zobrist’s throwing error but by Royals pitcher Yardano Ventura’s failure to cover home plate.
The Royals committed their third error, appropriately enough, in the 3rd inning when Michael Brantley reached on a fielding error by Royals second baseman Omar Infante. (Note that this was the only action by Omar Infante palatable to Indians fans. Infante scored seven of the Royals’ eight runs, including a three-run homer in the 2nd inning.) After Lonnie Chisenhall walked, the Indians again had two on with one out and didn’t even move the base runners, much less score.
It gets worse. In the 5th, the Indians had the bases loaded–twice and only managed to score one run. Now by this time, you’d think that the Baseball Gods would have said, “Bah, we give you opportunity after opportunity and all you have to show for it are three runs? Forget it!” But no, the Baseball Gods are forgiving gods. In the bottom of the 9th, with the Indians down 8-3, Michael Martinez started things off by reaching base on, what else, an error. This one was a throwing error by Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Again, the Indians loaded the bases. This time with zero outs. Abraham Almonte hit a sacrifice fly to score one. Then with runners on the corners, Yan Gomes hit into a double play, and that’s all, folks. The Indians were 4-14 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 12 on base. Final score: Omar Infante and Some Other Guys, 8, Beloved by the Baseball Gods but Unable to Score, 4.