Wasn't the bullpen supposed to be a strength this season?
The bullpen did its best to lose another game last night, Luckily starting pitcher Aaron Laffey was so good through the first seven there was room for error. The Indians escaped the Kansas City Royals 8-7 at Progressive Field.
Laffey was the first Tribe pitcher to last seven innings this season. He also relied on the defense behind him. The Indians turned five double plays behind him, one in each inning from the third to the seventh, as the Royals constantly beat his pitches into the ground.
When he departed the score was 6-1 in the Indian's favor.
“We couldn’t do anything against Laffey,” left fielder David DeJesus said. “We’d get people on and then, boom, double play. Once he came out of the game, we felt like, ‘Let’s get our hits now.’”
Enter Joe Smith.
-- faced three, retired none.
Enter Masa Kobayashi.
-- Two hits, scoring Smith's runners.
Enter Jensen Lewis.
-- A sacrifice fly and the sixth double play ball of the night, tying a Tribe record last accomplished in 1988.
Kerry Wood received his first blemish this season in the ninth when he allowed a two-run home run to David DeJesus.
It looked as if less than 5,000 people were in the stands for the game. With that type of bullpen effort, thats probably a good thing according to Canton Repository beat writer Josh Weir.
It didn't take long after the game for the Indians to make a bullpen move. Left-hander Tony Sipp was called from Triple A Columbus. Zach Jackson is being sent down.
The move also allows Rafael Perez time to do some side work in attempt to right himself.
Offensively, Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore each went deep to keep the Indians in the lead. Sizemore hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to make the score 5-1 Indians.
Martinez had his two-run blast in the eighth inning, after the Royals had cut the lead to one at 6-5.
The fact the Royals issued a season-high nine walks helped the Tribe as well.
The Indian's offense has a knack for finding those free passes. They currently lead the American League in walks (67). They also have struck out 115 more times than any other American League team, according to Anthony Castrovince.
The Royals have played 105 consecutive games without getting as many as eight extra-base hits in a game. But in that second inning Saturday in New York, the Indians racked up eight extra-base hits within one inning. As loyal reader Trent McCotter reports, they were the first team to have an eight-XBH inning since Sept. 6, 1883, when the Chicago White Stockings did it against the Detroit Wolverines.
-- In his minor league rehab assignment in Columbus, Dave Dellucci had two hits and two stolen bases. The Clippers lost to the Bats 3-2.