Leading with the Post of the Game Thread:
It's a difficult time to be a Tribe fan, what with tying franchise records for losses in a month, the 12-game losing streak, the 9-game losing streak, and most recently the 6-game losing streak, so we have to take advantage of the few good things that come out of this season. Like the weekly victory.
This week's victory came in a rather unexpected fashion. The Indians were facing the best team in the AL, who will probably enter the playoffs as the favorite to get to the World Series. The Ranges have one of the best lineups baseball, and they were going to match up against Jeanmar Gomez, who was subbing for Roberto Hernandez (ankle). Gomez hadn't exactly set the world on fire even in AAA, and was going to be banished to the long relief the remainder of the season, but thanks to Hernandez's bum ankle, he was going to get a start against Texas. Good for Gomez, bad for probability of victory.
But Gomez pitched as well as he'd pitched all season, and the Indians gave him an early lead to work with it (boy do those words seem odd to type). Gomez struck out five in 5.2 innings, and allowed just four hits. His top velocity was only 91 or 92 mph, but his pitches seemed to have very good movement. Gomez got 14 whiffs on 81 total pitches, a very impressive percentage for a guy who doesn't throw that fast. After Gomez gave up his third run - an Adrian Beltre homer to center field, Acta decided to go with the bullpen, and pulled him even though he probably could have gone another inning. But, given that leads aren't a daily occurrence with this club, you might as well go all out to win when you have a chance.
The Indians for once jumped on a pitched out of the gate; usually it's the other club jumping on an Indians pitcher. Scott Feldman allowed four runs to the Indians in the first inning, with the big blow a Carlos Santana single that plated two runs. The Indians would send six players to the plate before recording an out, and that out (a Casey Kotchman ground out) plated the third run of the inning, and the second out (a Jack Hannahan grounder to second) brought home a fourth run.
That was all the Indians needed, for for once the Indians combined very good starting pitching (considering the pitcher and his opponents) and excellent relief pitching. Joe Smith got the Indians out of the sixth and through the seventh inning, which normally would mean Vinnie Pestano in the eighth. But as we learned after the game, Chris Perez was not in the ballpark:
Indians PR just informed us Chris Perez and his wife welcomed a baby girl recently. Why he was not here tonight.— T.J. Zuppe (@TJZuppe)
So it was Esmil Rogers, not Pestano, who came into the game to face the top of the Rangers order. Rogers has been the chief of the bullpen's B squad, the group of relievers who pitch with the team losing or with a big lead (haha), but because of Perez's absence, he was asked to pitched in a close and late situation. And he did an admirable job, retiring Ian Kinsler, allowing a cheap Elvis Andrus single, and getting Josh Hamilton to pop out. Acta then called upon Pestano to not only get the Indians out of the eighth inning but the ninth as well. He did just that, getting Nelson Cruz to end the eighth, and pitching a fairly routine ninth.
Game Thread Stats
Roll Call: johnf34, The Grimace, Ryan, westbrook, palcal, USSChoo, hans, piersall, ahowie, jayme, woodsmeister, T.O. Tribe
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Name # of Posts johnf34 31 Ryan 26 USSChoo 17 westbrook 16 ahowie 13 The Grimace 11 woodsmeister 3 jayme 3 palcal 2 T.O. Tribe 1 piersall 1 hans 1