On this unseasonably humid September night, the ball was jumping, and one missed spot in the eighth inning turned a possible win into a frustrating loss for the Tribe.
We haven’t had many days like this in a while, so there’s not a whole lot to fret about. Truthfully, we’ve gotten spoiled; almost to the degree of forgetting what disappointment feels like. Days like this happen, and truthfully, the only thing that matters now is getting to Game One of the ALDS as healthy as the Indians possibly can. This is the rationalists’ point of view.
Unfortunately, I am not all that rational on occasion.
It sucks to see the bullpen gag a winnable game away. There’s still a lot to play for in the last week of the regular season. The Astros bludgeoned the Rangers, 14-3, so Houston will pull to within one of the Tribe for the AL’s best record tonight. And does anyone expect the Padres to give two rat’s molasses about even bothering offer resistance against the Dodgers? San Diego’s bags are likely all packed and ready to go.
(Huh… They lead 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth as I type this. You stay classy, San Diego.)
Bryan Shaw‘s proclivity to give his dissenters ammunition to spew back at him will likely be out in full-force. He struggled with his command and Brian Dozier went opposite field with the back-breaking three-runner. Zach McAllister dug the whole even deeper as gave up a run as well. In the ninth, with Frankie Lindor, Austin Jackson and Jose Ramirez all up, home plate umpire Todd Tichenor decided to give Twins closer Matt Belisle the “dinner appointment” strikezone; effectively taking the bat out of the hitters hands and all three flew meekly to the outfield in order.
However, tonight had all of the makings of nothing being easy. Josh Tomlin, newly appointed as the fourth starter for the ALDS over Mike Clevinger, did not look all that great in this tune-up. Conversely, Clevinger had a clean inning in which he struck out two. This is where we all revert to the mantra of “Trust Tito.”
For Bartolo Colon, it is starting to look as if we are seeing the last of the former Indians’ ace. He lasted all of one inning, giving up two runs. Paul Molitor was not about to allow his starting pitcher to squander the opportunity to keep pace in the Wild Card chase.
Edwin Encarnacion had 4 RBI including his 38th Parrot Walk of the season. He now has 103 runs batted in on the season. He’s been everything that the Tribe wished for when he basically fell into their laps.
Let’s get ’em tomorrow.
W: Taylor Rogers (7-3); L: Bryan Shaw (4-6); S: Matt Belisle (8)