Justin Masterson pitched in and out of trouble all night, inducing two double plays when his back was against the wall Despite his four walks, Masterson held the Royals to just one run over 6. Zack Greinke was his usual magical self through seven innings but Trey Hillman pulled him at just 102 pitches and one earned run; Greinke's last start was a 120+ pitch performance against the Angels. Tony Sipp and Chris Perez were brilliant through 3 innings of relief.
The Royals bullpen is truly atrocious and Hillman handed the ball to Kyle Farnsworth and his 5.00+ ERA for the final two innings. He worked a clean slate in the eigth but then characteristically started to come unglued in the ninth. After putting two on, he gave up a single to Jhonny Peralta; Skinner flashed back to games that mattered and sent Cabrera home despite it being a short single into LF, where David DeJesus and his strong arm waited. Cabrerea was cut down at the plate meaning Travis Hafner would have to get a hit for the Indians to win the game in regulation. Hafner waved at strike three and the game went to extras.
Going with Perez in the top of the ninth was, if I'm not mistaken, against the book, in that the closer is expected in the top of the ninth in the tie game of a home game. When Wedge stuck with Perez for the tenth, it was an unusual, though certainly not indefensible decision. I'm not much for this whole line of speculation but if you're looking for the "denying Wood games to finish" evidence, this is about as close as we've gotten. Chris made it a tactical moot point by plowing through the Royals for a second straight inning to make a final line of 2.0 IP, 1 BB and 3K. Since joining the Indians, Perez (Mercedes?) has 32 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. These are essentially the same strikeout numbers as in St. Louis; the difference is that Perez has halved his walks.
The Royals turned to Jamey Wright to try to hold the Indians at bay in the tenth. If it seems like I'm foreshadowing that Wright would lose the game, that's because I was writing this along with the game, waiting to go for dinner, and I was hoping that was the case. It wasn't, and Valbuena-LaPorta-Marte went 1-2-3 against the suddenly indomitable Jamey Wright. In the top of the eleventh, Wedge again stayed away from Wood and went with Jose Veras, who somehow worked a scoreless inning.
Frankly, I lost interest in this an hour ago. I mean, seriously who's watching this? Sigh. Come on. Somebody hit a home run. Who's coming up? Marson, Brantley, and Cabrera. Who's my best shot there? I told these people I'd meet them for dinner an hour ago. Alright, Brantley took a walk. Come on. Just hit a double or something, Astro. It's still Jamey Wright on the mound. How is this still going on?
In the eleventh, Asdrubal grounded out to move Brantley to second; after an intentional walk to Choo, Peralta stepped in and singled to left! JP singled! And...Brantley was out at home on the throw from DeJesus. That's twice, Skinner.
Top 12. Still Veras (seriously, what?). Homerun Miguel Olivo. Well, alright.
So, that's it. Miguel Olivo took Jose Veras yard in the top of the 12th and the Indians lost. What has happened to us?