5/11/11: Indians vs. Rays

Last night the Indians won last night, 5-4… on a walk off walk?  Yes, the very rare walk off walk.  What’s left, stealing home?  A balk?  Seriously. 

Anyways, with the bases loaded Michael Brantley forced in the winning run by digging himself out of an 0-2 hole and drawing a walk.  To make things even stranger, it was the first walk of the season allowed by Tampa pitcher Kyle Farnsworth.  Thank you very much, thanks for coming.

Last night’s game was a complete grind it out type of affair.  The Indians went up early on a Grady Sizemore homer in the bottom of the first, then the Rays tied it up with their own solo blast.  Michael Brantley put the Indians back on top with a solo shot of his own later in the game only to watch Tomlin surrender the tying run once again.  In the 6th, the Indians would take on two runs to take the lead yet again only to watch it be surrendered for a third time.  Talk about stressful.

Even though they managed to get the win, it never should have been that close.  The Indians drew 11 walks for the game, 10 coming before Brantley’s walk off.  They left a total of 13 runners on base and on multiple occasions were unable to get runs home with a man on third and less than two outs or with the bases loaded.  It’s not like Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine was pitching lights out.  He wasn’t able to make it out of the fourth.  For whatever reason the Tribe just wasn’t able to get that one key hit throughout the game.  It was frustrating to listen to and I’m sure even more frustrating for those in attendance.  In the Indians defense, this was probably the first time all year they were unable to deliver a timely hit in such situations, so I’ll give them a pass for last night.

Josh Tomlin pitched well yet again last night and should have gotten the win.  He only gave up 3 runs and that should have been enough to secure a win, especially considering the number of scoring opportunities the Indians had last night.  I really like what Tomlin has brought to the table for the Tribe so far this year.  Last night on the radio they said this was his 18th straight start where he has gone at least 6 innings.  That’s mind-boggling for a young pitcher like Tomlin.  Hopefully he can keep this going.

The bigger story however is that fact that Grady Sizemore is not in tonight’s lineup and was seen leaving Progressive field this afternoon in street clothes.  It’s being reported that he is getting an MRI done on his right knee.  Uh Oh… not good.  The good news is that his left knee is the bad knee, not the right.  According to the Indians Sizemore jammed his knee sliding in to second last night and was still sore this morning.  The MRI is strictly precautionary and to give Sizemore “peace of mind.”  Hopefully it doesn;t develop into something worse.  Sizemore has played out of his mind since coming back in mid-April.  Losing him would be a major blow to the offense.

Tonight’s game should feature a lot fewer run scoring opportunities for the Tribe.  Tampa will send their ace, David Price, to the mound.  Price is a phenomenal left-handed pitcher with one hell of a fastball and slider.  I really don’t expect the Tribe to win this game and I won’t be surprised if their home winning streak ends tonight.  Compounding the problem, Carlos Carrasco is making his first start in about 2 weeks since experiencing forearm tightness.  There’s a very good possibility he could experience som rust, especially if it’s supposed to be cold and rainy tonight like it was last night.  Here’s to hoping I’m wrong, though.

But OK, enough of my worthless rambling.  Here are the lineups.

Indians:

  1. Michael Brantley, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Shelley Duncan, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  8. Austin Kearns, LF
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  • Carlos Carrasco, P

Rays:

  1. Sam Fuld, LF
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Johnny Damon, DH
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Matt Joyce, RF
  6. B.J. Upton, CF
  7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  8. Reid Brignac, SS
  9. John Jaso, C
  • David Price P
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