KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 23: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 celebrates with Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians after touching home plate in the sixth inning against the Kansasn City Royals on September 23, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Whoa...what was that?
For five innings the Indians looked rather normal. They were shut down by Jake Odorizzi, the Royals prospect making his major-league debut. They had managed just one hit and one walk against Odorizzi, and with the sixth inning approaching, and with it the Royals bullpen, this game appeared to be similar to so many other games in the second half.
But something odd happened on the way to the Tribe's 91st loss of the season. They started to hit. And hit. And hit.
After Choo started the sixth inning by flying out, Jason Kipnis lined a ball down the right field line, and thanks to Kauffman's deep corners made it to third base. Then the Asdrubal Cabrera singled him home, and Carlos Santana took Odorizzi deep to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. That outburst opened the floodgates, for the Indians would fill their remaining at-bats with lots of crooked numbers (for those who've been watching the Indians and had forgotten what those are...they are at-bats in which a teams scores more than one run). There was the five-run seventh, which featured Kotchman fly ball(!) that the Royals center fielder lost in the sun. And there was a seven-run ninth, in which Carlos Santana hit his second home run of the day (and his 18th of the season).
Meanwhile David Huff pitched a creditable game, going 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits. By Tribe second half standards, it was a pitching masterpiece. Huff will get a return start against the Royals next week in Cleveland, and that might determine whether the pitching-hungry Indians keep him on the roster through the winter. I still say it's too late for Huff to change the Indians' minds, but maybe there will be different minds making decisions next month.