Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tribe Takes Series Behind Francona's Key Substitutions, Tied For 1st Place

By:  Stephen Parsons

Last night the Indians shocked Detroit in beating Justin Verlander.  It was also the 1st time Ubaldo Jimenez  had won 3 straight starts since 2011.  Cleveland had a chance to accomplish another milestone, win 4 straight series for the 1st time since 2008.  They would also tie Detroit in the standings with a win today.  If they wanted it, they would have to earn it, and be willing to work a little overtime.

The pitching matchup was Zach McAllister against Rick Porcello.  McAllister has been one of Cleveland's most reliable arms this season.  Detroit would strike 1st on this day.

In the Bottom of the 2nd, Bryan Pena hit a 2-run shot over the head of Andrew Stubbs.  This scored Jhonny Peralta, and was Pena's 2nd home run of the season and would give Detroit the early 2-0 lead.
The Tribe would not wait long to respond, in the Top of the 3rd inning, Jason Kipnis hit his 6th double of the season to score Yan Gomes and Michael Brantley, tying the game at 2. 

In the Bottom of the 4th Omar Infante would hit a ball to deep right field, it was deep enough to score Jhonny Peralta from 3rd on the sacrifice fly, 3-2 Detroit.

In the Top of the 5th Cleveland had a chance to not only tie the game, but take a lead.  The situation was bases loaded, 1 out with Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate.  He swung at the 1st pitch right to the 2nd baseman Omar Infante for the inning ending double play.
There it would stay for quite a while.  Zach McAllister would pitch for 6 innings allowing 2 earned runs, 3 total runs, on 8 hits, striking out 5 and walking 3.  Rick Porcello went 6 innings as well allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 6 with 2 walks.

It came down to the Top of the 9th when Tigers closer Jose Valverde came on for the save.  Valverde had not allowed a hit in his 6 previous appearances this season. 

Michael Bourn pinch hit for Ryan Raburn to lead off the inning.  Bourn took a 6-pitch walk, then stole 2nd base.  Lonnie Chisenhall with a runner in scoring position struck out on a full count where the ball was high and outside. 

Yan Gomes then hit a foul ball to Prince Fielder to get the 2nd out of the inning. 

It would have been Andrew Stubbs' turn in the lineup, but with him going 0 for 3 with strikeouts
today, manager Terry Francona decided to pinch hit Jason Giambi.  Giambi took a walk to put 2 on for Michael Brantley.  Brantley took a fastball the opposite way past shortstop Jhonny Peralta.  Bourn easily scored from 2nd base giving Cleveland their 3rd run to extend the game.

Joe Smith came on in the Bottom of the 9th, after allowing a lead off single to Andy Dirks, Torri Hunter hit into a double play.  Miguel Cabrera then flew out to deep right field to end the inning.  Extra innings coming up.

In the Top of the 10th, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a lead off double.  Nick Swisher would ground out next, advancing Cabrera to 3rd base.  Carlos Santana would draw an intentional walk.  Michael Bourn would hit a ball to Jhonny Peralta, he threw to the plate getting Cabrera out at the plate.  With Bourn on 1st and Santana on 2nd Mark Reynolds was called on to pinch hit for Lonnie Chisenhall. 
Mark Reynolds came threw again, this time a clutch single to left field scoring Carlos Santana putting the Tribe ahead for the 1st time all day 4-3.
Chris Perez would not come on for the save as he was given the day off.  Rich Hill would pitch instead.  Prince Fielder flied out to center field for the 1st out.  Victor Martinez would then strike out on a foul tip in the glove of Yan Gomes. 

Cody Allen was then called on to get the final out, Matt Tuiasosopo would be called on to pinch hit.  Allen would get the strike out for his 1st career major league save.  4-3 Ball Game!

Joe Smith got the win he is now 1-0 with a 0.66 ERA.  Darin Downs took the loss, he is now 0-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season.  Cody Allen getting his 1st career save.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 35 minutes.  Game attendance was 35,260.

My Thoughts:

Another phenomenal start by Zach McAllister.  His ERA is now 2.68 this season.  This game came down to good pitching and excellent decisions by manager Terry Francona.  Knowing how to use your bench.  Getting Bourn into the game in the 9th was huge.  He drew the walk, stole 2nd and Giambi drew a walk getting Brantley the chance he needed to extend the game.  Mark Reynolds hitting for Chisenhall was huge as well putting Cleveland ahead in the 10th. 

Also, knowing the situation of Chris Perez having a high pitch count last night, and the fact it was a day game following a night game.  Play the percentages, let Rich Hill pitch against the left handed hitting Prince Fielder and switch hitter Victor Martinez, then bring in Cody Allen, who is believed to be a future closer in this league, to shut the door.

This win puts Cleveland in a 1st place tie with Detroit.

Coming Up Next:

Tomorrow will be a double header in Cleveland against the New York Yankees to make up 2 rained out games from 1st home stand.

In Game 1 New York will start David Phelps who is 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA this season.  Cleveland will start ace Justin Masterson who is 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA this season.

In Game 2 New York will start Vidal Nuno who has no record with a 0.00 ERA this season.  Cleveland will start Trevor Bauer who is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

The Doubleheader starts at 12:05 PM ET from Progressive Field.

This has been the Parsons Report. 

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