I was already planning out my article before the game ended. I was planning on writing about how the offense failed the pitching staff once again. The thought came into my head after Vinnie Pestano gave up a two run home run to Bobby Abreu in the eighth inning.
Through the first eight innings, the offense of the Indians did little damage. Dan Haren went 7 2/3 innings with one run allowed on 3 hits. He struckout ten and had not allowed a hit since a Carlos Santana bunt single in the fourth inning.
After Tony Sipp retired the Angels in the top of the ninth, Angels closer Jordan Walden came in to try and record the save.
The inning got off to a great start, with a single by Michael Brantley. He proceeded to steal second, which put him in scoring position for Travis Hafner. Hafner came up with one out and hit a deep fly ball to left field. This scored Brantley and tied the game at 2.
Walden was kept in the game, but did nothing to help his cause. He walked Santana, who is at the top of the league in walks, and then hit Jack Hannahan on the leg.
Walden was finally yanked by Mike Scioscia in favor of Hisanori Takahasi. Travis Buck came to the plate, which led the Angels to make a drastic defensive shift. Torii Hunter came into the infield, which resulted in only two outfielders. The interesting thing was that the two outfielders left right field completely open. All Travis Buck had to do was hit a fly ball to right, and the game would be over.
The shift paid off for the Angels, as Buck grounded out to Torii Hunter, who threw home to get the out. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jason Kipnis came to the plate. He was hit-less in his short major league career, but he changed that with one swing of the bat. He hit a line drive into right field which won the game for the Indians, and helped them avoid a 5-game losing streak.
Lost in all of this was another great outing by Fausto Carmona. He went 6 innings and allowed no runs on 4 hits. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, which was erased in the eighth inning on the home run by Bobby Abreu.
The turnaround for Fausto came in the game on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN in San Francisco. He only gave up 3 runs, but he received the loss in a game in which the offense only scored one run.
In his last four starts, Carmona has given up a combined 5 runs. He is 1-1 over this stretch, but as seen with Justin Masterson, the record does not always determine how well a pitcher is doing.
Carmona’s success is important to the success of the team, as he was expected to pitch well at the start of the year. With the return of Alex White coming soon, the rotation should be able to put the team in a great position to contend for a playoff spot.