Game 19: Royals 3, Indians 2

The bullpen, which had been so good all season, lost the game in a rather annoying fashion. 

The late-inning collapse ruined a fine start for Josh Tomlin. Tomlin extended his franchise-record streak of starts of at least five innings to begin a career to 16, but more importantly, pitched perhaps his best game of his career. He allowed five base runners, and always seemed to be in complete control of things. He's only been in the league about a half-season, but you wouldn't know it by how he attacks hitters. 63 of his 91 pitches were for strikes, with many outs coming only a couple pitches into the bat. Now that he has a reputation around baseball as a strike-thrower, he's adjusting by throwing more off-speed pitches to start off hitters.

After Tomlin walked Chris Getz with one out (his first walk), Manny Acta went to the bullpen. Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano would finish the inning, but allowed Getz to score and barely got out of the inning. The main cause of their trouble was the walk, something that would figure into next inning's events.

Chris Perez was in trouble from the first batter of the ninth. Kila Ka'aihue doubled to start the inning, and advanced to third on single to shallow center. The pressure was ratcheted down a bit when pinch-runner Mike Aviles was thrown out at home, leaving runners on first and second with one out. But Perez walked Chris Getz to load the bases, bringing up Melky Cabrera, who ended the game with a two-run single.

The Indians scored both of their runs in the fifth inning, one run coming on a Grady Sizemore single, the other on what should have been a Shin-Soo Choo single; Choo's ball was trapped by Alex Gordon, and Sizemore, the runner on second, was forced at third. In the eighth, Melky Cabrera's on-the-fly throw nabbed Carlos Santana at the plate in the eighth, in what turned out to be a key play.

 

20110421_indians_royals_0_20110421224339_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Tomlin .438 C. Perez -.792
Sizemore .064 Hafner -.097
Hannahan .051 Choo -.061
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