Game Seventy-Four: Indians 6, Dodgers 4 (10)

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via www.fangraphs.com

Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Jhonny Peralta .463 Joe Borowski -.404
Cliff Lee .341 Franklin Gutierrez -.361
Casey Blake .129 Rafael Betancourt -.057

To say Cliff Lee deserved better and Joe Borowski deserved less would be an understatement. Lee pitched 7.1 excellent innings and got a no-decision, and Borowski caused that no-decision but got the win. 

The Indians lead 4-0 as the eighth started. Lee allowed a one-out single to Matt Kemp, and was removed in favor of Rafael Betancourt. All three members of last year's Circle of Trust would appear in the game, and all three would be charged with a run or allow a run to score. Borowski's appearance was the most pathetic of the three; he allowed three hits and two runs and was about an inch on Adam LaRoche's bat from blowing the game. It's time for a new name for this bullpen, since the Circle of Trust has long since been applicable to this group. Perhaps Corps of Despair is a more fitting name?

The top of the tenth was almost as laughably depressing were it not for an unexpected at-bat from Jhonny Peralta. The Indians loaded the bases against Dodger closer Takashi Saito, but Franklin Gutierrez hit into a 6-2-5 double play, a variation I've never seen. Ben Francisco, who started from second, apparently thought that shortstop Angel Berroa was about to catch Gutierrez's ball and scampered back to the bag. By this time, Berroa had thrown home to force Jamey Carroll and it was now too late for Francisco to make third. Now there were two outs, and given how the Indians bullpen has performed lately, extending the game any length would have given the Dodgers even more of an advantage, to say nothing of the momentum gained in the last two at-bats. But Jhonny Peralta smacked a double to the base of the right field wall, scoring two. Kobayashi ended the game with a fairly quiet bottom of the tenth.

It was a big win, since it got the Indians back to 7.5 games behind Chicago, keeping whatever faint hope of relevance the Indians had alive for another day.

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