Triple Play and 1-hitter Highlight Strange Series in LA
Series Result: Indians win series over Dodgers 2-1
Game 1: Los Angeles 1 Cleveland 0
Game 2: Cleveland 10 Los Angeles 3
Game 3: Cleveland 5 Los Angeles 4
Murphy came into the series in a 1-for-39 slump, but something about the hazy Los Angeles air gave Murphy his stroke back. In the series, he went 4-for-7, with 3 RBI’s, 1 walk, and 1 run. It was Murphy in game 3 who drove in the tying run in a 5-4 victory.
Sure, the team may have won the game he started in, but the so-called ace of a staff should be able to pitch more than 3 innings in a 7-run blowout. In game 2, Masterson gave up 3 runs, 7 hits, and walked 3, throwing 85 pitches in just 3 innings of work. On the bright side, 7 of the 9 outs he recorded were strikeouts.
Game 1: Déjà vu all over again. Tribe held to 1 hit for second straight game
Most baseball fans would understand if Felix Hernandez were to throw a 1-hitter against you, as he did on Sunday, but Dan Haren? This was the same Dan Haren who had given up home runs in 9 straight starts. Well, when you’re the 2014 Cleveland Indians, anything can happen. The Indians became only the second team in MLB history to be involved in 3 straight 1-hitters. In fact, it took a challenge to give the Indians their one and only hit. In the 3rd inning, Michael Bourn was originally called out on a close play by Dodgers shortstop, Miguel Rojas. Upon further review Bourn was called safe and the Indians avoided the possible no-hitter. Corey Kluber was the hard luck loser in the game, as he went 6 2/3 innings, only giving up 1 run and strikeout 5, as his record fell to 7-6, even though he sports a 2.99 ERA. The Indians starting pitching had been good of late, but you don’t win many games when you don’t score runs.
Game 2: Indians break out of slump with 10 runs
The Indians quickly broke out of the offensive slump, by scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st, highlighted by a Lonnie Chisenhall 2-run home run. Then Justin Masterson stepped on the mound after a few extra days rest for a sore knee. The thought was that he would feel relaxed, especially with the early lead. After striking out Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig hit a ball that should have at least been stopped by Asdrubal Cabrera, but instead hit off his glove and bounced into centerfield, giving Puig a hustle double. Then in classic Indians fashion, they gave up the response runs, when Adrian Gonzalez blasted his 14th home run to make it a 3-2 game. After a Matt Kemp strikeout, Masterson was just about to get out of the inning, when the Indians achilles heel (whether it be Nick Swisher or the terrible defense) came to bite them, Swisher dropped what would be an easy out to end the inning. Masterson would go on the pile up a pitch count in the inning. Masterson would only make it through 3 innings, throwing 85 pitches.
In the bottom of the 4th, Kyle Crockett came on to relieve Masterson; Crockett in a 1st and 3rd, no out situation, with Adrian Gonzalez up to bat. Then, in what may be the strangest 5 minutes of baseball you will ever see, a triple play and 2 challenges occurred. Gonzalez flied out to Brantley, Dee Gordon mistakenly tested out Brantley’s arm and was out at the plate, and then Yasiel Puig tried to test out Yan Gomes arm and was called safe at second. Kipnis argued for Francona to challenge that Puig was out at second base, which the Indians won. Then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, challenged that Dee Gordon was safe at home, the Dodgers lost. In baseball terminology, it was a 7-2-5 triple play. Kyle Crockett threw 4 pitches and record 3 outs.
The Indians would then go on to score 3 runs in the top of the 6th and 3 runs in the top of the 8th to make the game a surprising blowout at 10-3. If I told you that the Indians would only have 3 more hits than the Dodgers and that Masterson would only go 3 innings, you would think I was crazy if I told you the Tribe would end up winning 10-3.
Game 3: Tribe rallies in the 8th with clutch hits
For once, it wasn’t the Indians making mistakes in a game. The Dodgers had 3 errors, and Brian Wilson exploded in the 8th to help the Tribe to a unexpected 5-4 win, which gave them a series victory over the then hot LA Dodgers. Ryan Raburn finally came through for the Tribe, with a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th. Trevor Bauer once again labored through 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 3 runs, and walking 2, but was able to keep the Tribe in the game. In the top of the 8th Brian Wilson and his beard entered the game and he immediately walked the first two batters he faced. After striking out Yan Gomes, and with David Murphy pinch-hitting, Wilson gave up a game tying single. Matt Kemp’s errant throw, allowed Carlos Santana to advance to third and Murphy to advance to second. Lonnie Chisenhall was intentionally walked to load up the bases for “Handsome” Mike Aviles. Aviles took the 4th pitch of the at-bat and singled in 2 runs to give the Tribe a 5-3 lead. The Tribe ended up winning 5-4 with Cody Allen nailing down his 8th save.
Next Up: The Tribe returns home for a 4th of July weekend series with the Kansas City Royals, who currently hold the 2nd place spot in the AL Central by 3 games over the Tribe
— Chris Sladoje (@The_Doje)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images