Wednesday night’s game at Kauffman Stadium between the Indians and Royals certainly could have gone better.
First, 2 hours and 49 minutes worth of combined delays made for one very disjointed game. Originally scheduled for an 8:05 start time, the game didn’t get under way until well after 10:30. Then in the top of the seventh, half of the lights along the top of the stadium went black causing a stoppage of play and pushing the ending to a hard-fought game well into the early morning hours – past 2 AM for those of you keeping score at home.
On top of that, the Indians wasted a slid start from Scott Kazmir. In five innings of work, Kazmir gave up one run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Billy Butler. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Kazmir exited the game with a 3-1 lead after allowing lead off singles to Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer. Unfortunately, Bryan Shaw was unable to come through and get he hold.
Kazmir’s final line on the night ended up being five innings pitched and three runs allowed on six hits while striking out three and walking none. The no decision was hard to swallow, though. As previously mentioned, Bryan Shaw relieved Kazmir and after striking out Billy Butler, he allowed three RBI singles in a row and then threw wildly to first on a pick off attempt to allow a fourth run. By the time the inning was over, the Indians had gone from trailing 3-1 to being ahead 5-3.
Offensively, the Indians scored their first three runs of the game on a fluke, inside the park home run by Jason Kipnis. With Michael Bourn and Asdrubal Cabrera aboard, Kipnis sent a fly ball deep to left field. Alex Gordon went back on the ball and attempted to make a falling catch, but instead missed the ball and then slammed his head and hip into the wall. He would lay there motionless as Kipnis rounded the bases to put the Tribe up 3-1. The official word on Gordon was a concussion and bruised hip. He’s listed as day-to-day.
The Indians scored their second batch of run thanks largely to the aforementioned power issue with the lights. Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was cruising along in the top of the seventh when the power outage delayed the game 12 minutes. Once play resumed, Guthrie had lost his control and walked Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes. Michael Bourn followed with an RBI single and Asdrubal Cabrera came through with sacrifice fly to tie things up at 5-5.
Kansas City scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh off of reliever Cody Allen. With two outs, Eric Hosmer blasted a Cody Allen fastball over the fence to deep center field. All Michael Bourn could do was watch as the ball sailed over his head and into the stands to give the Royals the 6-5 advantage.
The Indians attempted to make things interesting in the ninth. Yan Gomes reached base on an error by the usually sure handed Alcides Escobar at short. Drew Stubbs was brought on to pinch run; his speed constant threat. Unfortunately, Jason Giambi flied out to left and Bourn struck out on a check swing to end the game.
With the loss, the Indians now find themselves trailing the Tigers by a half game in the AL Central Standings. The Royals and Indians will finish their three game series today with a first pitch scheduled for 2:10.
The Good: The Tribe battled back twice to either tie the game or take the lead. Unfortunately, they just didn’t have enough in the tank last night to pull out the victory.
The Bad: First, the delays were awful and pushed the ending time of last night’s game well past the 2 AM mark. Thankfully today is a holiday, thus making the writing of this recap a bit easier to deal with.
The other bad was the bullpen. They didn’t get the job done last night by allowing five runs and squandering a solid start by Scott Kazmir.
Oh, and honorable mention to the defense. The Indians had three errors last night and played sloppily throughout. The delays undoubtedly played a role in that, but they have to be better than that.