Davies only made it five innings (pitch count got high), but he did manage to only allow five hits and three walks, which is better than I'd expected, and he limited the Indians to one run--a questionably earned run at that. All in all, the outing was encouraging.
I know TPJ has been absolutely abysmal at the plate, but it is rough seeing Esteban Callaspo (they're essentially the same player, aren't they?) manning short.
Mahay worked a 1-2-3 top of the sixth to hold the three-run lead the Royals built up in the bottom of the fifth. Will tonight be the night, Neil Young?
Quick break from Royals talk...
Jacoby Ellsbury seems to be every bit the player that he looked like he could be last post-season. He's got seven steals this week. He's already got 26 through 51 games. Oh, he has been caught twice though. If the Sox could just get rid of Crisp and get him in the lineup absolutely every day, he'd lock down Rookie of the Year honors by mid-July.
Back to the Royals...
Peralta comes in with one out and one on in the top of the seventh to go full on the fearsome Jamey Carroll, giving me the feeling certain deflation, eventually walking him on a borderline pitch, putting the tying run at the plate. I smell a game-tying three-run shot off the bat of Ben Francisco.
Pop up in foul territory. Praise be to Allah.
Homerless V-Mart comes up. Joel still in the game. Botched pick-off catch by defensive replacement TPJ at second. Pop up to Guillen. Lead preserved. Hope not yet dashed. Can it happen?
Buck, TPJ (actually getting a good swing on the ball for once), and Gathright (on a bunt) all pop out, making for a very short and easy inning for the large C.C. Sabathia.
Soria coming in for a two-inning save. Hillman clearly wants this win.
Juh-honny Peralta singles up the middle to start the top of the eighth. Can things be so bad, that Soria actually blows the save? Passed ball. Peralta to second standing up. No outs. Please, Jesus, let Joakim take care of these Clevelanders. Guillen tracks a well-hit, slicing fly ball towards the left field corner. One down for Filthy Abe. Pop fly to shallow center. Gathright loses it. Defensive replacement Tony Pena, Jr., misses the catch by about two inches. Runners on the corners. The Royals look to be doing everything in their power to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Walk to Blake. Bases juiced. Unhittable Soria who'd entered the game with a BAA of .100 has loaded the bases and has one out. Delucci's up. The world seems to be ending. Where are you when we need you L. Ron? Grounder to Teahen. Only play at first. Jhonny scores from third. A rare earned run (what the hell are you doing official scorer??? two questionable non-errors?) for Joakim. Pop up. TPJ can catch a pop up after all. Disaster averted. Too much happened for me to convert to Scientology, though.
Bottom of the eighth, C.C. still in the game. Yet another 1-2-3 inning for Sabathia. Thanks for the insurance, guys.
Soria taking the mound again. Hasn't blown a save all season. Is Vishnu watching over the Royals? Carroll looks foolish at the plate. Maybe Soria got it back. Francisco pop up to shallow right. Vishnu! Vishnu! Vishnu! V-Mart rips a single past Teahen guarding the line at first. Way inside to Jhonny. I wonder if this is the first time Joakim has faced the same batter twice in a game. I'd imagine it is. Wild pitch. Buck can't find the ball. Slow Victor only advances to second. Grounder to TPJ.
Hinduism it is.