Thursday night’s Indians-Astros game started out as a good reminder that the baseball season is 162 games long. With such a long season, not every game is going to be memorable, exciting, or even infuriating. Somewhere in the top of the 5th inning, I said to my husband, “Say something amusing. I need something because this game is, um…”
“Snoozy?” he replied.
The Indians scored in the top of the first when Nick Swisher doubled and then scored on a Jason Kipnis single (cheered on by the dear husband, who yelled, “Come on, you old fart! Run!” as Swisher was waved home.) The Astros scored 1 in the top of the 2nd, and that was pretty much the ballgame for the next 9 innings. Yes, like Nigel Tufnel’s amplifier, this one went to 11.
Things looked up for the Tribe in the 8th inning, when Swisher and Kipnis both singled and we had runners in scoring position for the first time in ages (or since the 4th inning). A couple of strike outs later, and we were going into the 9th with the score still tied 1-1. Like most Tribe wins, this one was a team effort. Singles by Yan Gomes and Asdrubal Cabrera and a walk by Mike Aviles loaded the bases in the 11th. Then Matt Carson came up with two outs and singled home the winning run, much to the delight of tired Tribe fans everywhere.
Some general impressions from this game:
- The redemption of Ubaldo Jimenez continues. He went 7 innings, gave up 1 earned run, 0 walks (that’s zero), and had 9 strikeouts. And even into the 7th, he was throwing in the mid-90s and getting first pitch strikes. If we do make it to wild card, I’d be comfortable having him make the start in the one-game playoff.
- We’ can only make it to the playoffs if we win games, and we can only win games if we score runs. The offense continues to be underwhelming. The Indians had base runners in all but the 5th and 10th innings. When you get 12 hits and still only score 2 runs, there’s a problem. We won’t always be able to hold the opposing team to 1 run.
- You can’t say Nick Swisher didn’t do his part. He went 4-4.
- Aside from Matt Carson’s game-winning single, my favorite moment came in the 5th, when a grandmotherly woman made a great catch of a foul ball and did this adorable jumping up and down happy dance. Her unmitigated joy was a delight to see. It’s part of what being a baseball fan is all about. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good game, a bad game, or a boring game–catching a foul ball can still make you jump for joy.