–Henry James, 1915
OK. Henry James was talking about World War I, not the Indians game last night. You caught me.
But seriously. What words can I use to talk about the “game” that took place last night? Ridonkulous? Shammockery? Out-freaking-rageous? Some other tmetic construct? That game blew my mind, and I am at a verbal loss. Was that even baseball? It seemed like some weird, performance art where you can’t quite watch, but you can’t look away either.
Let’s try some bullet points, because I really don’t know what else to say:
- Mitch Talbot started the game, walked four batters in two innings, and left with a sore back. He’ll have an MRI tomorrow, but he might be pregnant with self-doubt.
- Unfortunately, the Indians’ bullpen was taxed from the previous night’s Fausto-implosion, so Raffy Perez was deemed the “long man”: he pitched two scoreless innings, but threw 39 pitches. He was followed by a Procession of Depression™.
- A bright spot! A-Rod didn’t hit his 600th home run in Cleveland; he was 1-4 last night and went 3-17 in the series. He will be taking his talents to Tampa Bay this weekend.
- Tribe pitchers threw 233 pitches last night. That’s about the right number of pitches in a nine inning game–if you combine both teams’ totals.
- You can’t throw 233 pitches without walking some people, and boy did we do that. Twelve times, actually. That’s the most walks allowed by the Indians in a nine inning game since 1990.
- In fact, every Indians pitcher to toe the rubber allowed a walk except for one guy…
- That guy was Dandy Marte, who retired every batter he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth.
- You read the previous bullet point correctly: DANDY MARTE DID SOMETHING GOOD. FOR THE INDIANS.
- Marte struck out Nick Swisher: not one person could avoid laughing at this, including Swisher and Marte. At this point, the Indians were losing 11-1.
- Marte’s fastest pitch was clocked at 88 mph; Aaron Laffey could not be reached for comment, but he’s thought to be chartreuse with envy.
- One more Dandy-bullet: Marte struck out more batters than Frank Herrmann, Tony Sipp, and Joe Smith. COMBINED. That is to say, he struck out ONE batter.
- Jess Todd struck out the side in the eighth inning; unfortunately the three strikeouts were interrupted by four hits, a walk, and two runs. Which serves to remind us: strikeouts are fascist, and they won’t be tolerated. Watch out, Dandy.
- Joe Smith proved he can do more than just give up runs: he threw a pitch that hit Carlos Santana in the knee, forcing the rookie from the game. Smith also threw 28 pitches in one-third of an inning, letting up three hits, two walks, and four runs. Super-duper stuff.
- Santana should be ok; in fact, he finished the inning before being replaced by Chris Giminez.
- The Yankees scored 11 runs, but only had two players with a multi-hit game, and one was Curtis Granderson, who had a bunt hit.
- The Indians scored first (one run in the first inning) and last (three runs in the ninth). In the seven interim innings, the offense managed four stinking baserunners, and none of them made it past first base.
Really, I don’t know what to write about this game. It made me feel certifiably insane: nothing made sense. Every time I’d look up, something weird was happening. Here’s Raffy Perez in the third inning. Here’s Andy Marte pitching. Here’s Joe Smith trying to grow facial hair. It just didn’t compute. None of it.
“It’s something that I don’t like doing,” said Manny Acta postgame. “I did it because we had to. At times, I feel that it looks like a mockery of the game and I don’t like it. But we had no choice given that game yesterday and the guys left in the pen. [Hector] Ambriz threw over 40 pitches the night before and Chris Perez threw in three of the last four nights and he’s our closer.”
“Im glad it didn’t get any uglier,” Acta continued. “Really, the people pay their money. They don’t deserve watching some player pitch.”
In fact, the only thing that was mildly reassuring was the fact that Travis Hafner was a late scratch from the lineup with right shoulder soreness, and, according to Paul Hoynes, he may be heading to the DL. That all made perfect sense to me, and reminded me to take comfort in the familiar.
Speaking of taking comfort in the familiar, the Indians are leaving the country for a few days. Next up is a road trip to face the Toronto Blue Jays. Roster moves will have to be made to fill out the overworked bullpen, and there’s no word yet on whether Mitch Talbot will have to make a trip to the DL. Obviously, more on this as it develops.
“A mid-back strain,” said Acta. “He stayed back and he will get an MRI. We will find out more information tomorrow.”