If the Tigers don't make the playoffs this year, the first thing they're going to look at is their record against the Indians, with this game being the foremost example of missed opportunities against a bad baseball team.
This was a game where the Indians were poised to win a game they probably didn't deserve to win. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched all right, though the velocity on his fastball was disturbingly low:
|Pitch Type||Avg Speed||Max Speed||Avg H-Break||Avg V-Break||Count||Strikes / %||Whiffs / %||SNIPs / %||Linear Weights|
|FF (FourSeam Fastball)||91.35||93.2||-5.05||8.52||36||22 / 61.11%||1 / 2.78%||13 / 48.15%||-1.0410|
|CH (Changeup)||83.03||89||-5.79||5.83||30||16 / 53.33%||4 / 13.33%||9 / 39.13%||-0.8730|
|SL (Slider)||82.61||85.5||5.75||0.37||11||5 / 45.45%||2 / 18.18%||4 / 40.00%||0.6581|
|CU (Curveball)||78.07||79.5||8.57||-4.50||3||2 / 66.67%||0 / 0.00%||2 / 66.67%||-0.0135|
|FS (Splitter)||87.05||90.5||-1.20||4.77||2||1 / 50.00%||0 / 0.00%||0 / 0.00%||0.9226|
|FT (TwoSeam Fastball)||90.35||92.8||-8.30||6.97||10||7 / 70.00%||0 / 0.00%||5 / 62.50%||-1.4550|
|Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm.
SNIPs are "Strikes Not In Play" and do not include any balls in play.
Normally he's sitting 93-95, as he was just a couple of starts ago. But give Jimenez credit; he settled down after allowing three early runs, and got the Indians through six innings.
The Indians cut their deficit to 3-2 in the fourth when Shin-Soo Choo drove home both Russ Canzler and Jack Hannahan with soft single to left. The Indians would then take the lead in the fifth by scoring two more runs thanks to getting generous calls on two close plays at first. Replays showed that the calls Brian Knight made (both on potential double plays) were bang-bang plays, but I though both were outs. Detroit manager Jim Leyland argued the first call (Brantley's potential double play), and would be thrown out of the game after coming out to argue the second call (Chisenhall's potential double play). If that wasn't enough, the Indians probably got the benefit of another generous call when Carlos Santana reached when Miguel Cabrera threw high to first. Because there were two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera scored all the way from second on the play. None of the calls were Jim Joyce bad, but could have gone either way, though.
But it looked like Miguel Cabrera would make up for those bad calls, for he hit a three-run homer off Joe Smith in the seventh inning to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. Esmil Rogers would get himself out of a ninth-inning jam (including striking out Cabrera with a runner on third and one out) to keep the score 6-5, but it looked like it wouldn't matter, for the Indians had just three outs left.
Jose Valverde entered to attempt his third straight save against the Indians. In their series, the Indians got to Joe Nathan in their third shot at him, and it turned out that they would do the same against Valverde. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a double that short-hopped the fence in right-center. Asdrubal Cabrera couldn't get Kipnis over, though, popping out to shallow center. But Carlos Santana, who has been this team's best second-half hitting, hammed a Valverde offering to deep right, and Tiger right fielder Don Kelly couldn't make a great catch, and the ball ticked off his glove just before he ran into the wall. By the time he got up and retrieved it, the Indians had tied the game, and Santana was at third base. Valverde would then walk both Michael Brantley and Ezequiel Carrera to load the bases and set up a force at any base. But those plans were for naught, for Lonnie Chisenhall swung at the first pitch he saw and hit it over the drawn-in outfield to give the Indians just their second walk-off win of the season.