This game came down to a battle of the bullpens; you knew as this one progressed that the first bullpen to blink would be the team to lose the game.  Due to a two hour and three minute rain delay prior to the 3rd inning, the night’s starters, Justin Masterson and Doug Fister, were done after just two innings on the mound.  Overall, there were 439 pitches thrown in this game – 220 by Cleveland and 219 by Detroit in the longest game either team played this year.  Of those 220 pitches, the Cleveland bullpen threw 183 and of their 219 Detroit’s bullpen had 180.  After the second inning, Detroit only had a total of 8 base runners, while the Indians had just 5 before they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 14th.

When Kosuke Fukudome came to the plate in the bottom of the 14th, he was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts.  I didn’t have much faith in him at that point, and I secretly hoped he’d just strike out for a 5th time – I didn’t want him to end the inning with a double play.  In a bizarre turn (which fit with the somewhat bizarre game), Fukudome was hit by a pitch from David Pauley with a 1-2 count for the walk off hit by pitch.  (I should also mention – this was the Tribe’s first walk-off hit by pitch since Alex Cole was beaned in June of 1991 against the Toronto Blue Jays).  So in baseball this season there have been walk off walks and a walk off balk; now there’s a walk off HBP.

Of course the Tribe had a chance to win this one in the 8th when Jason Donald pummeled a double off of the outfield wall to lead off the inning.  At that moment, Manny Acta looked pretty smart.  Donald was pinch hitting for Lonnie Chisenhall, who was having a pretty rough night (0-2, including grounding into a double play).  So Acta’s decision to go with Donald appeared to be a good one.  Before the inning was over, he made a decision that did not pan out nearly as well – Michael Brantley attempted to sacrifice squeeze Donald home.  The pitch from Daniel Schlereth was way outside and Brantley wasn’t able to get his bat on it; Donald was nailed well before he made it to the plate.  Brantley hit a fly ball to left that was relatively deep; it’s possible that could’ve provided the go-ahead run.  I’m less annoyed about this whole scenario since the Tribe won!

Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore update: Choo went 0-2 at Lake County last night, and went 0-2 again tonight.  It sounds like they want to have him move through the minor league system over the next week, upgrading him to more advanced pitching every few days.  If all goes well, Choo could be back within a week or two.  The news is significantly less positive for Grady Sizemore – it sounds like he’ll be back in late September, if at all.  I said before I didn’t expect him back this year (I don’t think he ever fully healed in the first place), so this news just confirms what I already expected.

Some random thoughts from this one:

  • I’m now fully aware that Jerad Head is the Indians’ minor league player of the week.  Thank you for showing that commercial a bazillion times tonight.
  • How many foul tips nailed Carlos Santana tonight?  Not only did he catch for 14 innings, but he was getting knocked around quite a bit while doing so.
  • I’m going to Wednesday night’s game, and for a little while I started to think I may end up actually seeing the tail end of this one instead.  You know, because they’d still be playing at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.  I’m sorry, that was a lousy joke…I need sleep.
  • Did you notice who was warming up in the bullpen, if the Indians wouldn’t have won this one in the bottom of the 14th?  Josh Tomlin was set to go in when Frank Herrmann came out of this one.
  • The entire bullpen contributed to this one, putting up 12 scoreless innings.  The bullpen was knocked around a bit on the road this past week, but they certainly made a strong statement about their abilities tonight.
  • What if the starters get into trouble early on Wednesday night?  Maybe we could see a pitching matchup between Austin Kearns vs. Miguel Cabrera?  Because that would be a nice night for Tribe fans if we were assured that neither of those guys would be hitting during the game.


  • Drew says:

    When I used to play little league travel ball, I had a coach who was obsessed with the suicide squeeze; squeezing at least once per game. Looking back on it now, it was a really good strategy and I commend Manny Acta for attempting it last night. The pitch would have had to be either exactly where it was or high enough in the zone to cause a pop-up. I too am glad the win came 5 innings later but this was a calculated risk that I think, if given the opportunity again, Acta would make the same decision and I would be on this blog supporting it.

  • Chip P says:


  • I stayed up until the 12th was complete, then my years took its toll and I had to head for the bed. As the game wore on I reverted to my fair weather fan-dom and became more pessimistic with each pitch. I was certainly glad at the outcome which I learned about after rising this morning. When I learned it was Fuk who took the errant pitch it only seemed proper after striking out four times. Somehow I think he may have good memories of the night by the clunk to the arm. It somehow seems cosmically the proper thing to have happen to him. One game winning clunk for four strikeouts. O.K. baseball Gods you smiled on us tonight.

  • Pamela says:

    Ahhh…the suicide squeeze…Brilliant or moronic? I, like Drew, support Manny’s decision to call for the squeeze–but not until this morning. Last night, I was complaining about the decision (some might call it screaming–much to the delight of the Detroit fans around me, I’m sure). I just couldn’t understand how you take the bat out of the hands of one of your better hitters with only one out on the board. Of course, after sitting in the rain (errr…standing at the Batter’s Eye drinking beer) for two hours, I wanted to just put the win in our pocket and go home.

    But then my sensibilities rose with the sun, and I remembered how I (and many others, I’m sure) hailed the squeeze against Boston in April as brilliant. We loved Manny’s aggressiveness and thought that if this team was going to do anything, they would have to go out and aggressively grab games–not sit around and wait “til next year.”

    Even though the suicide squeeze didn’t work last night, I still like the fighter mentality of the call. If this team goes down, I’d rather them go down swinging, and not just covering their heads (or elbows, of course).

    Have a great day, everyone.

  • SeattleStu says:

    sorry gang, the squeeze was a mistake and manny is an awful in game manager….just this past week he left tomlin in 1-2 batters too long and called an inexplicable hit & run with austin kearns at bat and one out (huh?)….and that’s just this week’s mistakes….we would have won that game and saved our pen 5 innings…those things add up over time.

    fukudome finally did something worthwhile…boy that was a great pickup, front office…hope your damaged goods ‘ace’ does better than a run per inning tonight.

    nonetheless, Go Tribe!….huge win last night…would be good to get another put to bed b4 verlander allows 2 hits from our punchless lineup.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I must say, I’m going to see Ubaldo pitch tonight and I’m kind of excited! Even if he’s terrible, it’s still pretty nice to see a star come to Cleveland, rather than leave!

  • Jerry says:

    Just wondering…….any thoughts on Sizemore’s contract? Would you pay the 2012 option? Would you want him if he continues to get hurt?


  • TomW says:

    Always like the suicide squeeze. No matter how it turns out.

  • SeattleStu says:

    @Jerry…i probalby wouldnt exercise the option on Grady, but i would let him test market then sign him cheaply…figuring no one is going to pay him much given his injury status last 2 years…

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I’d need to check how much the option costs – if it’s a low cost, I’d pick it up. If it’s kind of pricey, I may not pick it up. Like SeattleStu said, his value may be low enough that you could get a good deal on him.

  • Drew says:

    Sizemore’s contract has a $8.5M-$10.5M club option for 2012 with a $500k buyout. The option may be as high as $10.5M because of certain incentives. If the Indians let him go and he heads to a team where he isn’t the face the of the team, nor would he have to worry about playing slightly injured I see him quietly putting up .300 avg with 1:3 K:AB ratio.

  • SeattleStu says:

    i’m on that buyout like white on rice….10mm is 20% of entire payroll…he and pronk have to go….if they’re willing to re-sign at 2-3mm i keep them.

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