Fortuitous goofs; bombs; tons of pitches on both sides; a manager gets tossed while not raising his voice or saying anything more coarse than “Good golly, Mr. Joyce! Did your mustache plug your ears?”; rain delay. Even a Tim Tebow conversation between the STO crew while the game was still being played for good measure. Did I forget anything?
This game had pretty much everything except a bench-clearing incident or an alien abduction. In a span of a 162-game season, you’re probably going to run into the Twilight Zone at some point. So, it just happened to be that today was certainly was the Indians’ pinnacle of weirdness. No plague-like midges today, though. I’m guessing God (or Moses) decided that their presence today would qualify as overkill after being such a annoyance last night. But no one could’ve predicted their arrival as being a prelude for today.
We should’ve known we were in for a wacky one when you saw the Astros send tree-like David Paulino (3 INN/4 H/4 R/3 BB) to the mound, who spent most of his debut trying to keep himself decent for television. If the wind blew any harder, he likely would’ve been standing in his tightie whities. Hopefully the equipment managers gave the poor kid a better belt once his abbreviated workday ended.
But who knew that a foul ball would cause so much ruckus? And yet, a foul ball ended up scoring two runs.
I repeat: A foul ball lead to two runs scored for the Indians.
Allow me to set the scene: The Indians have just taken a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Mike Napoli, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are on base for Lonnie Chisled-Abs, er, Chisnhall. Lonnie taps the ball foul. But the ball rolls all the way to the backstop. One run scores. (???) Lindor scores. (????????) RAMIREZ SCORES! (Okay. What? This is likely me tapping in Astros’ catcher Jason Castro’s brain at this point.)
Jim Joyce, the umpire famous for his Civil War-era facial hair, his boisterous strike call and screwing former Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga out of a perfect game (against the Indians, coincedentally), totally missed the clear contact. Castro, realizing that the ball should be dead, turned to plead the Astros’ case. While, the game is still live.
Before we pile completely on Joyce, it should be said that the other three umpires missed the call as well. Astros’ manager, AJ Hinch came out to argue the most polite heave-ho argument you’ll ever see. The Astros, rightfully annoyed, fell victim to some of the most startling ineptitude that you will ever see that did not involve CB Bucknor or Angel Hernandez. And with balls and strikes unable to be reviewed, the best that Joyce could do was send Ramirez back to third base.
Between this and check-swing-gate against the Marlins, the Indians are living so good that you have to wonder if a meteor is gonna fall from the sky and decimate everything.
We haven’t even gotten to Trevor Bauer (5 INN/7 H/5 R/2 SO/2 BB), who was mortal against a team he typically dominates. But the offense, buoyed by Carlos Santana’s 30th homer this season, and Andrew Miller bouncing back from a shaky appearance last night helped the Tribe close out an 8-2 homestand. It wasn’t pretty, but wins are all that matter now.
W: Trevor Bauer (11-6); L: David Paulino (0-1); S: Cody Allen (26)