July 13, 2013
The grand slam is normally a rare event, but not apparently when the Indians and Royals play. In their last series, two grand slams were hit, both by Royal hitters, and tonight a third grand slam was hit, this time by an Indians player.
Because FOX did not choose to televise the game, the game was not broadcast by either STO or the Kansas City station. In one way that was appropriate, for the Indians sported a 1902 road uniform, so why not turn back the clock on television as well?* We in the home market will have to wait to see how Nick Swisher dealt with his collar, but we have a good idea how the game went via the radio and the old trusty box score.
Jeremy Guthrie lived on the edge most of the night, but the Indians couldn't cash in on most of their early opportunities. They did score a run in the third inning on a Jason Kipnis sacrifice fly, but the score remained 1-0 into the middle portion of the game. In the sixth, with Guthrie still in the game, the Indians loaded the bases with one out, but it looked like the former Tribe pitcher would get out of it when he struck out Jason Giambi. But then he hung a curveball to Lonnie Chisenhall, and Lonnie didn't miss it. Chisenhall's first career grand slam gave the Indians what looked like a comfortable 5-0 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Scott Kazmir had a representative start tonight. He pitched really well, cruising into the seventh inning, but then seemed to have a physical ailment and struggled to get the first out of the inning. Kazmir has undoubtedly been a season-long project for the training staff. and given that he's thrown a total of 1.2 major-league innings over the past two seasons, it's going to be difficult for him to make it through the remainder of the season. But however long the Scott Kazmir comeback show lasts, it's been at times a blast to watch. Throwing in the mid-90s most of the game, Kazmir was efficient through six innings, having thrown only 85 or so pitches. But in the seventh, he walked the first two batters and retired Mike Moustakas only after throwing him 10 pitches. Terry Francona had seen enough.
Matt Albers, bumped up to a seventh-inning role because both Joe Smith and Cody Allen were unavailable tonight, allowed both inherited runners to score as well as one of his own, with an two-run infield (don't ask, I didn't watch it) the big blow. And so, in shades of the July 4th game, the Royals quickly climbed back into the game.
But this time the bullpen would hold firm. Rich Hill, who has been pitching much better of late, struck out Eric Hosmer to end the seventh inning threat. Vinnie Pestano pitched a scoreless but difficult eighth inning. And Chris Perez, who gotten a day off yesterday, retired the Royals in order the ninth to clinch a series win.
*Of course my metaphor is completely blown apart by the fact that commercial radio was decades away when the 1902 Bronchos donned their all-blue road uniforms.
This view of the AL Central standings may elicit pleasant thoughts:
AL Central Standings
Roll Call (35 Commenters)
|4||Mr. Bad Example||29|
|11||new zealand tribe fan||17|