Cleveland Indians: Losing stinks, but extra-innings rule worked

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians fell victim to the extra-inning rule, but the rule worked.

The Cleveland Indians lost Game No. 2 to the Kansas City Royals, and many fans are lining up behind pitcher Mike Clevinger to complain about the newly instituted rule that puts a man on second base to start extra inning.

The Royals plated their man, who started on second in the 10th Saturday night, while the Indians left theirs stranded. It was the difference in the game, as Kansas City won, 3-2.

Clevinger, who started the game and was solid save for back-to-back jacks allowed in the first innings to Jorge Soler and Salvador Perez.

“This new extra inning rule is the whackest [expletive] I’ve ever seen, do you have any idea how hard it is to get a runner to second off the back end of a bullpen?!!!” Clevinger tweeted. He added the hashtags, #Thisisnttravelball and #Makethem earn it.

Former teammate and friend Trevor Bauer was quick to point out that both sides get the same opportunity.

Clevinger responded by Tweeting how relegating the game to bunting and sac flies would make the game a bore.

Bauer, never at a loss for words, was quick to snap back, referencing the two home runs his buddy surrendered in the first inning.

Nobody wants to be on the losing side of this new rule, but it’s going to happen, probably more than a few times.

The experiment of putting runners on base has been playing out in the minors for the past few years. It makes sense, as there’s no need for 14 inning games. Minor League Baseball is all about development and the spirit of the rule is to move the game along. From a coaching standpoint, the could be made case that players are getting schooled in high leverage situations.

That said, the minors aren’t the big leagues, where stats are held sacred. For example, James Karinchak just became the first man to lose a game without giving up a hit or an earned run.

The rule was instituted in this whacky season to protect players and prevent injuries by eliminating games that go deep into extra innings.

The truth is the Indians had their chances in this game, with Roberto Perez taking a 3-1 fastball right down the pipe with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. He struck out on the next pitch. Then, as Bauer pointed out, the Tribe had runners on first and second with no outs and the top of the order coming up.

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Cesar Hernandez’s boondoggle of an at-bat, set the tone for the next three outs. First, he bunted a pitch foul, then he swung and missed. The rest of the inning was over in the blink of an eye.