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.)


  • Mike says:

    and Perez escapes one batter later with the save and series-clincher.

    Improper report. He Perez then hit a batter and then walked one before closing the ninth.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    Correct. The hit batter slipped my mind.

  • Patrick Sands says:

    The call was definitely blown but who’s to say we still wouldn’t have won that game even if it was a HR. These things generally come full circle and the Indians have had their share of tough luck so I don’t feel too bad for the A’s. What’s more upsetting is that this is the only time the Indians get any press. I just watched MLB Network and Sportscenter and neither mentioned how the Indians are the hottest team in baseball right now, not one person mentioned it on either network. I’ve come to expect that from ESPN but I though MLB Network would at least show some love

    • Chris Burnham says:

      I never said we would have won or lost. But it is a tainted win for us in every sense of the phrase.

    • Duke says:

      At least you guys made it on SportsCenter. My Orioles are tied for the AL East lead and didn’t even make broadcast.

  • The Doctor says:

    Typical Perez. He escapes with a hilariously lucky call and still manages to almost throw it away. I would literally prefer anyone else in our bullpen pitch in a 1 run game over him.

    Tonight’s game made me realize one of the ingredients that’s (I believe) had a lot to do with this recent hot stretch – Perez has barely pitched in any close situations.

  • Tribial Pursuit says:

    Speaking of that railing…back in 2000 I was at a game where Travis Fryman hit a ball just over the little monster and rattled around the railing, eventually bouncing back on the field. Initially ruled a double the umps got together and reversed the call. Pretty awesome moment.

    Side note: since the advent of technology integrating with newer ballparks haven’t there been umpiring crews taking advantage of those huge jumbotron video replays? I could have sworn that during the Fryman HR review there were a couple guys on that crew taking a peak at the replay.

  • Scott says:

    Def a bad call but even with the right call it’s not an automatic Oakland win

    Think someone needs to rethink closer theory.
    Go situational with more guys. This 9th inning specialist is not something most guys can pull off. Yeah the Riveras and such, but I bet most teams would do better with no closer and put in the guy with the best matchup. Even 2 or 3 pitchers for the inning.
    The problem is stats. The save stat is driving this.

  • Matt Travis says:

    While I love the optimism, we are currently only nine out of the last ten with the chance for ten out of eleven coming tomorrow.

  • James Edgar says:

    Given the way the Tribe is playing, I’m inclined to think that even if they got the call right and it was 4-4, we would have won in the bottom of the 9th anyway.

    Line of the night – Tom Hamilton after the replay said, “…and Angel Hernandez got it wrong, and that’s really not a surprise.”

  • Jerry Greer says:

    How is the win tainted? Home plate ump missed a few ball and strike calls also….I guess every win is tainted.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    That’s a part of the game. Being unable to correct a wrong when you have the clear means to do so is not.