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Genius Indians Use Intentional Walk Twice to Thwart Cards 2-1 in 12

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Oh, and two late base running blunders didn’t help

MLB: Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals
Yadi, you shouldn’t have been put at second anyway.
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Recapper’s Note: I had a pithy intro, but after how this game’s 9 innings came and went, and the 10th-12th innings came and went, especially how the 12th went, I pulled it.
The intro included commentary on socks with sandals. You’ll just have to imagine it.


The Bird’s-Eye View

Even as today’s game went into extras, it had little offense from both sides, because Jack was good and the Cards’ hitters have been not good, and the bullpens were good. The Cards had good shots in the 10th and 11th, but the Indians actually used the intentional walk to successfully thwart both of those situations. Ultimately, the Cards’ pen blinked first in the 12th and a weird double-play ended things.

Right away in the first, I had flashbacks to last night’s offensive barrage nightmare, as Jack had a disturbing trend through the first three innings. He gave up 4 instances of hard-hit contact (over 95 mph EV); he wasn’t fooling the Indians hitters much at all at first. Plus, one of those hard hits was a solo homer off the bat of Jose Ramirez, the second hitter of the game. Facing an Indians lineup in which 7 of the 9 hitters batted from the left side either as natural lefties or switch hitters, Jack had his hands full.

But Jack’s talent came through. After giving up that homer, he settled in and the Indians produced just one real threat through the 5th, Jack’s last inning of work. And that one threat was in the third, with first and second one out, Ramirez singled to center, but Harrison Bader’s throw home was on the money to nail Sandy Leon (not a swift runner, admittedly) at the plate to keep the score 1-0.

It took until the 4th inning for the Cards to get a base runner not named Goldschmidt. Pauly G, the main consistent bright spot to the offense, had a double in the first (he was stranded) and a walk in the 4th (followed by a walk to Brad Miller, but a DP ended that).

The Cards didn’t have a lead-off hitter reach until a walk by Dex in the 5th, but that went nowhere.

Genesis Cabrera came into the 6th and after a lead-off walk to Lindor, came back to strike out the side. Somewhere between walking off the mound at the end of the 6th and coming back out to it in the 7th, tragedy struck, as we learned he couldn’t continue due to a cracked finger nail on his pitching hand.

Austin Gomber was thrust into relief, and he immediately walked the first two. The Indians couldn’t cash in, though, as a fly-out, caught stealing of third, and a ground-out left them with nothing.

Finally, in the 7th, the Cards tied the game, getting on the board with the combo of a lead-off walk and two singles (including a historic one for Yadi).

That’s when the parade of zeros on both sides began.

The Cards had a great shot to win it in the 10th, as a sac fly from Matt Carpenter put Dexter Fowler at third with one out. Even after they loaded the bases due to the Indians intentionally walking pinch-hitter Kolten Wong; and, after a force-out, plunking Edman, Paul DeJong popped out to end that frame.

The Cards woulda had another runner at third, one-out shot in the 11th, but for some reason, DeJong, the runner placed at second, initially went half way on Goldschmidt’s deep fly to center, instead of tagging. He woulda made it easily. The Indians used the intentional walk strategy again, putting Miller on; which worked, as Yadi next hit into the inning-ending DP.

The 12th was the ultimate weird frustrating capper to the Cards 4th-straight loss. Head-scratchingly, Shildt left Yadi in as the runner placed at 2B. Bad decision, good (lucky) result, however, as a first-pitch wild pitch advanced him to third! After a ground-out, things were still fine, right? But they of course, couldn’t parlay that one-out, man on third situation into a run, as the game ended on a 3-5 double play. You read that right.


The Flight Path

Top of 1st (In Play, Runs(s) - The first four batters in the Cleveland lineup were switch hitters. One of them did much better than the others.

Cesar Hernandez started the afternoon off by grounding out to Paul Goldschmidt at first on a 2-1 low-strike fastball. Second hitter Jose Ramirez, however, treated an up and in 94 mph fastball rudely, drilling it right down the line and over the fence for a homer and quick 1-0 lead.

I imagine Jack’s inner voice had some choice words for himself after that. He settled himself to make quick work of Francisco Lindor, striking him out on 4 pitches, the last one a high strike well out of the zone that Francisco couldn’t catch up to.

Jack repeated that result against Carlos Santana who strummed over a down-and-in slider, tipping it into Yadi’s mitt for the final out.

Bottom of 1st - A 2-out double was not taken advantage of.

Tommy Edman led off and lined one hard the opposite way into left (99 mph EV), but it was snared by Domingo Santana. Paul DeJong followed by tapping a good outside 0-1 slider (which followed a slider) back to pitcher Carrasco for the second out.

As he’s been doing all year so far, Paul Goldschmidt produced a good at bat, banging a deep fly to right over Tyler Naquin’s head that bounced off the wall for a double to give cleanup hitter DH Brad Miller a 2-out RISP chance.

With first base open and Yadi up next, Carrasco seemed to try to get Miller to chase, throwing three-straight balls, all inside. After watching a get-me-over 3-0 strike, Miller swung at a 3-1 down-and-in change-up (a strike), popping out to second to end the inning. That’s what I call veteran pitch sequence.

Top of 2nd - Jack showed he knows ground balls are usually good for a pitcher.

Fifth-place hitter Franmil Reyes, a hefty 6’-5”, slammed a 1-1 91 mph over-but-low fastball on the nose (110 mph EV), but fortunately right at DeJong for out 1.

Tyler Naquin followed by politely grounded out to Edman at second to keep things on the ground. Continuing that trend, Domingo “Not Carlos” Santana topped a good 0-1 curve ball, grounding out to Matt Carpenter at third.

Bottom of 2nd - A lead-off loud out then nuthin’.

Yadi watched the first 3 pitches go by for called balls, thought he walked on the next, but it was a pitcher-friendly called strike. He then hit a bullet (103 mph EV) into left, but unfortunately, right at the left fielder, for just a loud out.

Fowler followed by working a full count but became Carrasco’s first strikeout victim of the day by swinging over a precisely located 88 mph change-up down and away (which woulda been called strike 3 had he not swung at it).

Carpenter tried beating the shift by bunting on the first pitch he faced but fouled it. He got a good fastball up and out over the plate on a 1-2 count and got p good wood on it (91 mph EV), and sent it p deep (331 ft) but it died into the glove of left fielder Santana (Domingo, not Carlos).

Top of 3rd - Defense matters! (And slow runners help.)

Jack started the inning by plunking lefty hitter Sandy Leon with a misplaced down-and-in curve on the 2nd pitch. Probably still hurt a little. Ninth-place hitter Greg Allen almost advanced Leon, as he banged a rising liner to left (101 mph EV) that Tyler O’Neill caught, with it almost zipping over his head.

That brought the lead-off hitter Hernandez up. After a brief mound visit from Yadi to ask Jack if he wears socks with sandals, Hernandez saw 3-straight called balls. Jack fought back to get the count to 3-2, but lost him on a slider he pulled into the dirt, blocked by Yadi.

Now with first and second one out, Jose Ramirez hit a sharp liner to center (97 mph EV), and not-fast runner Leon chugged toward home, but Bader’s perfect throw beat him there, with Yadi applying the tag for the 8-2 putout and run preventer to keep the score 1-0 Cleveland. Hernandez advanced to third on the throw. Ramirez remained at first.

Dangerous Lindor then stepped in, but Jack got ahead of him 0-2 then got him to ground out to Tommy at second on a down-and-away 95 mph fastball that nicked the lower-right corner

Bottom of 3rd - No hits, not even loud contact; no walks, no errors, no HBP, no reached on a strikeout/wild pitch. No runners, is what I’m sayin’.

Canadian Strongman Tyler O’Neill started off the third by grounding out easily to third baseman Ramirez’ backhand on a 0-1 slider. Bader then battled Carrasco for a bit, but ultimately grounded out to Santana (first baseman version), with Carlos tossing to the covering pitcher, just beating Harrison to the bag.

That brought the top of the order up again in Tommy. After seeing 4-straight fastballs that created a 2-2 count, Carrasco buried a back-foot slider that Edman couldn’t resist, swinging way over it for the third out.

Top of 4th - A one-out free pass was left standing at first at the end of the inning.

Jack made Carlos Santana face the music, getting him to fly out to Tyler in left on a surprise 1-0 change-up on the outer edge for out 1. DH Reyes battled Jack to a full-count 7-pitch at-bat, ultimately walking, as he watched a fastball well wide of the zone.

Next, on a 3-1 count, Jack got Naquin to lift a lazy can ‘o corn to left that Tyler gobbled up for the second out. Jack then ended the inning nicely, getting Domingo Santana to swing at and miss a 2-2 slider that kissed the bottom of the zone.

Bottom of 4th - An inning with 2 actual base runners was ended when the pitcher called his best friend.

DeJong, after having a 1-0 94 mph fastball zip dangerously over his head, got to a full count but then missed a down-and-away good slider, becoming Carrasco’s third strikeout. Goldy next got a nice break, grounding one right down the third-base line that hit the bag, and bounced upward. Ramirez was able to bare-hand it, but his fire to first was too late, getting Pauly G an infield single, his second hit.

Brad Miller followed with a good at bat, walking on 6 pitches to make it first and second, one out. Carrasco snuffed that situation out quickly, though, inducing Yadi to top an 0-1 “sinker” (that actually was up and in), grounding into a 4-6-3 double play to end what counts for a rally these days.

Top of 5th - A 2-out single was not a worry.

Jack notched his fourth strikeout by getting Leon to swing over a 1-2 slider down and in in the dirt for out one. Jack thought that was cool, so did it again against net batter Allen, switching things up a bit by striking him out looking on a slider. Lead-off hitter Hernandez ruined that trend by next lining an over-and-not-low-enough 0-1 curve into right for a single.

Ramirez, today’s home-run hitter responsible for the 1-0 score to this point, stepped in, with Bader playing so deep in center that Mike Shannon observed: “Any deeper, and you get paint on your back.” Good, one, Moon Man.

Deep outfielders notwithstanding, Jack got Ramirez to ground to Pauly G, who took it himself to the bag to end the inning.

Bottom of 5th - A mini-threat produced a goose egg.

A lead-off walk earned by Dexter became the Cards’ first base runner to reach leading off today. Carpenter got down quickly 0-2. On a 1-2 count, Fowler took off; Carpenter swung and missed for strike 3, but Dexter reached safely to give TON a RISP with just one out.

With a groan heard ‘round Cards’ Nation, Tyler, however, could not even advance Dex, much less score him, as he whiffed on an 0-2 95 mph fastball up and away. So it was up to Bader to keep things alive. He got behind 1-2, with two of those being a very hittable 95 mph fastball on pitch 1 he fouled off and a hanging slider on pitch 3 that he fouled off.

Harrison grounded to third baseman Ramirez, and Dex broke on the play. Instead of trying to throw across the diamond to get the speedy Bader, Ramirez looked back Dex, who started back to second. But Ramirez was able to toss to the shortstop, who tagged him out to end the inning.

Top of 6th - Lanky Lefty Genesis Cabrera relieved Jack, facing the Indians’ 3-4-5 hitters. He used his Invisible Touch to K the side after a lead-off walk.

Genesis went to a full count to Lindor, who was hitless against Jack in 2 previous at-bats. But a 97 mph fastball was off, and the now-swinging righty Lindor took it well down and in for a lead-off walk.

Cabrera came back to strike out the next hitter C. Santana on three pitches, the third being a curve that while stayed up, fooled Santana for a called third strike.

On a 1-1 count against Reyes, Lindor stole second easily on a big jump, and Yadi’s throw went into center for an E-2, allowing Lindor to scamper to third.

Young Genesis bucked up, though, getting his second strikeout of the inning by K-ing Reyes on a 2-2 curve that he whiffed on.

Next batter Naquin got down 1-2 (with Yadi saving a run-scoring wild pitch on a very wide third-pitch fastball), then like his brethren this inning, struck out, but his was on a 96 mph fastball in a nice low spot.

Bottom of 6th - Six is apparently also a serious number for Carrasco: in the 6th, he needed just 6 (!) pitches total, including his 6th strikeout of the day.

Lead-off man Edman led off and became a one-pitch, one-out victim, getting fooled on a change-up that was way wide of the zone and low, tapping that first offering right back to pitcher Carrasco.

DeJong didn’t last much longer, as he struck out swinging on three-straight pitches, 2 fastballs and a slider. Carrasco then retired Goldschmidt for the first time today, getting him quickly, as Pauly G popped out to right field on only the second pitch.

Top of 7th - Cabrera warmed up for the 7th, but the trainer came out to inspect an issue with his throwing hand. Genesis indeed came out [later reported to be a cracked nail] as Austin Gomber came in to replace him. After walking the first two, he escaped the inning with a bad at-bat and bad base running choice by the Indians.

Gomber did that thing all pitching coaches hate, and walked the first hitter, which was D. Santana. Delino DeShields (He’s still playing?) pinch-ran for Santana as Leon stepped in. After a fouled bunt attempt on pitch one, Gomber threw 4-straight balls to produce back-to-back free passes, which is that thing all pitching coaches really hate. So much, that it gets you a mound visit, as Maddux did, visiting Gomber to yell at him without looking like it.

Now with first and second and no outs, Greg Allen now squared to bunt. The first three pitches were balls, with Allen pulling the bat back successfully each time. After Gomber finally threw one in the zone to make it 3-1, Allen gave the Cards a gift, swinging at a not-strike, below-the-zone fastball that he lined softly (87 mph EV) to O’Neill in left for out 1.

Now Maddux asked everyone in the dugout if they knew who Gomber’s best friend was. Getting blank stares, Maddux watched as Gomer actually got ahead of Hernandez 0-2. On the fourth pitch (a called ball), DeShields broke for third, and Yadi nailed him, as Leon remained at first. Thanks, Indians!

Now with just a man on first and 2 out, Gomber finished Hernandez by getting him to ground into a force out, from second baseman Edman to DeJong.

Bottom of 7th (In Play, Run(s)) - Righty James Karinchak relieved Carrasco. DeShields stayed in to play center; Allen moved from center to left. A bona-fide rally produced something good! History-making good!

Brad Miller stepped in to see what he could do for the cause. After a good start with a 3-0 count, Karinchak got the count full but walked him. With Miller running on a full count to Yadi, the veteran executed the run and hit perfectly, singling in the vacated area between first and second, sending Miller to third easily. That tied him with Red for sixth all-time on the Cards’ hit list!

Now with first and third an no out, Dex made Mike Shannon sigh (“Boy, oh, boy,.) as Fowler struck out on a check swing at a 1-2 curve down and in.

But Carpenter made Moon Man happy, as he came through with a sinking liner to right to plate Miller and bump Yadi to second to tie the score 1-1! (“Atta boy. Finally!” cried Shannon.)

That brought up TON with a RISP opportunity, but he made no contact, striking out on a 1-2 curve down, away, and beyond the zone. (No comment heard from Mike. I’m guessing he swore off-mic.)

Bader next got nothing but sliders and curves, and on a full count, with the runners going, Bader swung through a curve at the right-edge of the zone but in the dirt. The catcher blocked it and easily got the out by throwing to first.

Top of 8th - Gomber remained in to face the heart of the order. (If you consider the 2-3-4 hitters the heart.) He left with a man on first and one out, replaced by Giovanni Gallegos. Gio got all economical.

On a 3-1 pitch, Ramirez launched a loud, long foul at home-run distance, yet it merely made the count full. Gomber got him to hit a much shorter fly, but prob higher, as Ramirez hit a high, high pop-out to Carpenter. Attacking Lindor inside with the first three offerings Gomber got ahead 0-2. But then Lindor singled to center on a 1-2 knuckle curve that hung up middle-middle. Gomber was fortunate it produced only a single.

Gio faced Carlos Santana, and got a 2-fer, as Carlos hit a hard grounder to first that Goldy snared whipped to DeJong at second then received the relay for an inning-ending double play!

Bottom of 8th - Righty Phil Maton came in to face the top of the order. That made no difference.

Maton totally got in Edman’s kitchen, as Tommy hit a jam-shot soft pop to Ramirez at third for out one. Next, Pauly D, after falling behind 0-2, battled to a full count. Alas, he then whiffed on a 93 mph heater up and in. Goldy then flew out to right on a meaty 1-0 cutter right down central that he mis-timed.

Top of 9th - Gio remained in to set down the Indians in order. Cool.

Gallegos jammed first batter Reyes on a 1-1 fastball, getting him to chase a way-in fastball, popping out to Carpenter. Naquin then became the second out of the inning and Gio’s first strikeout of this outing, going down on 4 pitches, the final one a slider in the dirt he swung over. DeShields then ended the nice, quiet inning by grounding out to Pauly D.

Bottom of 9th - Lefty veteran (turned 39 this month) Oliver Perez came in to face the Cards’ 4-5-6 hitters and fling slider after slider. He busted out the Luis Tiant back-to-the-hitter windup. It all worked.

It took just two pitches to retire Miller, who swung at an 0-1 slider, popping out to left. He got ahead of Yadi 0-2 with two sliders (his fourth-straight slider in this outing) then tried to get Yadi to chase two high fastballs but he left them to get the count to 2-2. Naturally, Oliver returned to the slider, and got Yadi to fly out on a good one at the bottom of the zone, as it was caught by center fielder DeShields.

Now it was up to Fowler to keep the walk-off hopes alive. On a 2-2 count, Dex swung and missed at a—you guessed it—a slider to move the game to extras.


FREE BASEBALL WITH A RUNNER ON SECOND


Top of 10th - Delino DeShields was the runner placed at 2B, as he made the last out in the 9th. John Gant entered to relieve Gio. It all worked out, with the help of a failed bunt.

Leon squared to bunt on the first two pitches, pulling the bat back on called balls. On 2-0, he was going to swing away, but the pitch also was a ball, low. Leon then took a strike just above the bottom of the zone and on 3-1, Leon was granted time just as Gant started his wind-up, so the reliever fired it to the backstop! Heh, heh, heh.

Then trying to catch the Cards napping, Leon bunted, but it rolled right to Gant, who whipped it to third, and Carpenter applied the tag for the out! Leon made it to first. The Indians challenged the call at third, but it stood. Yu Chang pinch-ran for Leon.

Now with a runner at first and one out, Gant’s first offering to Allen was high and wide, and it glanced off Yadi’s mitt and rolled to the backstop as Chang now suddenly became a fresh RISP for the Indians. (The pitch was ruled a passed ball.)

Gant then went 3-2 on Allen, but lost him, walking him to make it first and second one out. Then next batter Hernandez sizzled a liner to center (99 mph EV), but luckily, Bader merely had to run straight in a bit to catch it hat-high for the second out.

Gant then got out of the inning by getting Ramirez (remember, he hit that solo homer in the first?) to fly out to Dex in right.

Bottom of 10th - Oliver Perez remained in. Roberto Perez came in to catch. Fowler started at 2B.

On a 2-2 count, Carpenter launched a deep fly to right that Naquin caught near the wall, allowing Dex to easily advance to third.

The Indians brought in righty Nick Wittgren to face Tyler O’Neill. Shildt countered by bringing in lefty-swinging Kolten Wong. The Indians counter-countered by giving Kolten an intentional walk.

Shildt counter-counter-countered, and brought in switch-hitter Dylan Carlson for Bader to bring home the winning run in the Man On Third, One Out Situation of Doom (MOTOOSOD).

Dylan lifted a 2-1 fly ball foul toward the stands in left that Nyquin slid for and seemed to initially catch it, but the ball hit the ground. Had he caught it, Dex would’ve tagged and scored easily. There was an umpire conference to confirm it was foul, and it was.

After taking a slider inside, on the full count, Dylan grounded to Santana at first, who looked Dex back to third, then threw to second to get the force, with Dylan reaching.

Now with first and third two out, it was up to Edman. Wittgren then plunked Tommy on the right elbow on an 0-1 count to load them up for DeJong!

After a mound visit, Wittgren stayed in.

On an 0-1 pitch, DeJong popped out to Ramirez at third to dash the game-ending hopes.

Top of 11th - Birthday Boy Alex Reyes (25 now) came in to pitch. Carlson stayed in to play CF, sending Bader to the bench. Wong stayed in to play 2B as Edman moved to LF, so Tyler’s day was done. Ramirez was placed as the Indians’ runner at second. Alex kept things tied.

Lindor led off with a harmless fly out to Dylan in CF off a 2-2 slider. Reyes then turned two curves and two heaters into a strikeout of Carlos Santana, freezing him looking at the 98 mph express at the top of the zone for out 2.

Reyes then got ahead of Reyes 0-2, but on a 1-2 pitch, Reyes flung a wild pitch that Yadi couldn’t snag, as it sailed high, tipped the catcher’s mitt, and rolled to the backstop, allowing Rameriez to jog to third. Alex came back, though to get Reyes swinging on a 98 mph heater up and inside the zone, where the previous pitch was supposed to have been.

Bottom of 11th - Paul DeJong started at 2B. Wittgren stayed in pitching for the Indians.

Paul Goldschmidt stepped in with no thoughts of bunting. On a 1-2 count, Pauly G sent a fly ball deep to center, but for some reason, DeJong went half-way to third instead of tagging up!

So now with one out, the Indians intentionally walked Brad Miller, setting up the double play with Yadi up. That strategy worked, as Yadi swung at a first-pitch change-up toward the outer edge, grounding to Lindor for the 6-4-3 inning killing twin killing.

Top of 12th - Alex Reyes stayed in. Mike Freeman pinch-ran for Franmil Reyes at second. After an initial failed bunt, it seems the Indians felt a double would work even better.

Naquin made a feeble attempt at a bunt, seemingly trying to bunt for a hit on a 1-1 count. Then on a 2-2 count, Naquin smacked a double to right-center, easily plating Freeman to break the stalemate and put Cleveland on top 2-1.

DeShields squared to bunt and took a high heater Yadi had to jump to snag on the first pitch. DeSheilds, still squaring, bunted the second pitch foul. Squaring again, he pulled back on a called ball two. On 2-1, he successfully bunted down third, advancing the runner, with Carpenter just nipping DeShields at first.

Now with a runner on third and one out, Reyes went to 3-2 on Perez, ultimately striking him out on pitch 6, a 97 mph fastball Perez swung through. Reyes then retired next batter Allen, getting him to pop out to Carpenter at third.

Bottom of 12th - The Indians Closer lefty Brad “Mr.” Hand came in to end the never-ending game. Yadi stayed in to run at second. Yes, you read that right. I can’t talk yet about how this ended.

Well, lucky for Shildt and the Cards, with Dex up, Hand threw a wild pitch on his first offering, moving Yadi to third! Dex then smacked a hard one-hopper right to Lindor at short, and he threw Fowler out with Yadi having to stay put.

Next, Matt Carpenter grounded one to first toward the line that Santana bobbled. The first-base ump called it fair, so Carlos stepped on first for the second out. Yadi, who initially broke down the line a bit, stopped, as he claimed the ump called the ball foul. Santana whipped it to Ramirez at third, who tagged Yadi out for the inning-ending, OMG, 3-5 double play. [SMDH]

If Yadi had initially kept running on the play, the bobble by Santana would mostly likely allowed him to score.

We’ll never know. And it wasn’t a reviewable play.

Cards lost, 2-1


The Bottom Line

  • It seems so long ago, but Jack’s line was strong: 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H (1 HR), 5 SO, 2 BB
  • The Cards only got a lead-off base runner twice: in the 5th and 7th.
  • Dex’s stolen base in the 5th was his first of the season.
  • Yadi’s single in the 7th was his 1,980th, tying him with Red Schoendienst for sixth all-time in Cards’ history.
  • Gant’s relief appearance was his 10th in 24 games this year.
  • The Cards were 1-15 with RISP; the Indians were 2-14
  • Starting a runner at second in extras makes for wild game-ending graphs:
Things kinda got roller-coaster-y in extras