Indians use wrong pitcher in ninth-inning meltdown

Paola Ditto
Luglio 12, 2018

The Cleveland Indians blew a 4-0 lead in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, and a bullpen miscommunication was a big factor. The Indians needed one out to end the game, but the unsafe Joey Votto was due up.

Terry Francona and Carl Willis pulled off a real-life "Abbott and Costello" act Tuesday night.

Here's how the 9th inning went down: Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs on three hits with a walk and a hit batter.

According to Francona, pitching coach Carl Willis thought Francona asked for "OP", but Willis heard "OT".

As Francona explained after the game, the mishap occurred when he called the bullpen to start warming up the next reliever. Oliver Perez - and it was understood as "OT", Dan Otero's nickname, and Otero was told to warm up in the bullpen.

Jul 10, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (77) and the Indians infield point to the dugout during a pitching change during the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field.

Votto ripped Otero's 3-2 pitch to the gap in right-center field to clear the bases, giving the Reds a lead in a game they would win 7-4.

Keep in mind that in addition to the lefty-lefty matchup compared to Otero, who is a right-hander, Perez has a 0.77 ERA this season vs. Otero's 5.71 mark.

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