The bullpen of the Indians went through a rough patch during the last road trip. The Indians lost four games, all of which were lost by the bullpen late in the game. Some may have questioned the bullpen heading into last night’s game, which ended early this morning, but the pitchers in the bullpen put any talk of their decline to rest.
In twelve innings of work, the bullpen allowed no runs on only six hits. The entire bullpen, Durbin, Rafael Perez, Sipp, Pestano, Chris Perez, Smith, and Hermann, were used in the game. This was due to the fact that a two-hour rain delay occurred after the conclusion of the second inning. It would have been a bad idea to bring out the starters after the delay, so both teams brought in the bullpen for the third inning.
From the way the game began, it seemed that it could be a high scoring affair. The score was tied at 2 after the second, but heavy storms came into the area and delayed the game.
Chad Durbin was the first pitcher out of the bullpen, and he needed to log a few innings. If he got roughed up early, the Indians might not have come out on top in the game. Even though the entire bullpen was eventually used, his three innings prevented any starting pitchers from having to come out of the bullpen. Josh Tomlin was out in the bullpen just in case, but he was not needed.
Credit must also be given to the Tigers bullpen, who logged 11 1/3 innings of work. The only run they allowed was the run that won the game. They also only allowed three hits while they recorded thirteen strikeouts.
The Indians had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Jason Donald was on third base with one out. He reached base after he hit a double to dead center that nearly left the park.
Michael Brantley came to the plate, and Acta called for the suicide squeeze. Donald came busting down towards home, but the pitch was in the dirt and out of Brantley’s reach.
The game finally did end in the bottom of the fourteenth inning. The Indians loaded the bases with one out, and Kosuke Fukudome came up to bat. He was down in the count two strikes, but the pitch from Pauley was inside and hit Fukudome on the forearm. It was probably not the way Fukudome imagined that at-bat to go, but he did win the game.
This win puts the Indians three games behind the Tigers in the division. It also helped the Indians avoid falling into third place in the division, behind the surging White Sox.
Ubaldo will make his first start in Cleveland tonight, and hopefully he can get his first win as a member of the Indians.