After resigning myself to the fact that I was likely going to spend the entire evening in the bathroom – relax, I’m attempting to remodel it from the studs on up; not for entirely other reasons – I finished mudding the drywall much more quickly than I planned. So I switched off the radio – as hard as it is to turn oh Hammy – and flipped on the TV right around the bottom of the second inning with the hometown boys winning 2-1 courtesy of a Mike Napoli two-run dinger outweighing Prince Fielder’s sacrifice fly.
And just like that it turned into an old fashioned pitchers duel with Travis Bauer and Cole Hamels – who, honestly, is much more lanky than I remember during his days in Philadelphia – going toe-to-toe like the days of yore, heavyweight boxers trading punch-for-punch for the next five innings.
Texas tied it up in the bottom of the third – technically the first full half innings I watch; draw your own conclusions – as snake-bitten former top prospect Jurickson Profar pushed Bobby Wilson to third with a single. Wilson would later touch home plate on an Ian Desmond fielder’s choice.
Bauer and Hamels kept the opposing lineups relatively quiet for the next couple innings until Jason Kipnis – who, interestingly enough, fouled a pitch off early in the at bat and hit it a second time fairly hard on his back swing – roped a double down the line to plate aging speedster Rajai Davis.
Texas would tie it up again – notice a theme? – in the bottom of the seventh inning courtesy of a Ryan Rua long ball. Rua, by the way, is a former Lake Erie College draftee who made it big, despite getting plucked out of the 17th round.
Hamels would return the Tribe in the bottom of the seventh inning and Bryan Shaw, who relieved Bauer in for the top of the eighth, blanked the Rangers for the half of an inning as well.
Enter Luke Jackson, a former top prospect in the rotation turned potentially dominant reliever. Alas, today was not his day. Hot-hitting Jose Ramirez doubled to center, his second hit of the night, and later scored on a Juan Uribe single.
The lead, however, proved to be short-lived as closer Cody Allen walked lead-off hitter Mitch Moreland, who would later come around to score.
Edit: Dan Otero blanked the Rangers 1-2-3 in the top of the tenth inning.
Edit 2: Luke Jackson walked Mike Napoli to start the bottom of the tenth. Carlos Santana reaches first via a fielder’s choice, Napoli is out. Side-arming slow-balled Alex Claudio and his Bugs Bunny-esque 67 mph changeup baffled Jose Ramirez and Michael Martinez to end the inning.
Edit 3: Jeff Manship in to pitch. Tom Gorzelanny relieved after two hitter reached and got out of the inning.
Edit 4: Lonnie Chisenhall doubles down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the 11th! Yan Gomes singles home Chiz! TRIBE WINS 5-4!!!