Well, that was interesting.
As Chris Perez often does, he found himself in the midst of a hairy ninth inning. Only this time, it wasn’t his teammates who bailed him out; it was the replay booth. Or rather, it was Angel Hernandez living up to his reputation of being one of the worst umpires in the Major Leagues.
After retiring his first two batters, Perez hung a cookie fastball to Oakland’s Adam Rosales, who set a ball soaring that looked destined to land beyond the railing above the Mini-Monster.
Then, the completely inexplicable happened. STO had a clear shot of the ball grazing steel, yet Hernandez and crew must not have received that video in time and ultimately ruled the play a double. Bob Melvin goes (rightfully) nuclear, and Perez escaped a few batters later with the save and series-clincher.
But the bottom line is this: Your Cleveland Indians are officially hot; winners of ten of their last eleven, with a noontime tilt to try for the four-game sweep. We face an old friend in former Tribe ace, Bartolo Colon. Scott Kazmir takes to the hill for the Tribe.
Oh, and other stuff happened prior to all of this absurdity, by the way. Justin Masterson was his usual steady self as he continued the recent run of excellent starts (7 INN/3 ER/7 SO/3 BB). He was buoyed by a pair of homers in the sixth by Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana off of Oakland starter AJ Griffin. Griffin probably deserved a better fate, but was bit by a momentary lapse of control in the fifth inning. In walking the first two Tribe hitters (Santana and Raburn), the wacky inning was set off. The Tribe loaded the bases on a perfectly-placed infield-bloop hit by Lonnie Chisenhall, and the Tribe would manage to get on the board with two runs, thanks to an errant attempt to turn the double play.
Expect baseball karma to exact revenge soon. We got away with one tonight.
W: Justin Masterson (5-2); L: AJ Griffin (3-3) S: Chris Perez (5)
Player(s) of the Game: Human Ineptitude and the glorious beard of Daric Barton. (Okay, Okay… Masterson.)