Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 7/7/13
CLEVELAND -- Sometimes wins seem more relief than rejuvenating.Which is the way it seemed Sunday in the third of the four-game series with Detroit, as the Indians won 9-6 -- but only after the bullpen blew a 6-1 lead in the seventh and eighth.That, manager Terry Francona said, would have been a tough one, to go home today with a loss.Because until the seventh so much had gone right. Emboldened by a team meeting following Saturdays drubbing, a meeting led by team leader Jason Giambi, the Indians started strong, scoring four times in the first two innings and another in the sixth on Michael Brantleys home run.But in the seventh Joe Smith relieved Corey Kluber -- who had pitched very well -- and allowed one of Klubers and one of his own runs to score.And in the eighth, Vinnie Pestano walked the leadoff hitter, mishandled a dribbler toward first and gave up a three-run shot to the porch that Torii Hunter admired for its importance in the game. A 6-1 lead suddenly had turned into a 6-6 tie.As soon as the ball left Toriis bat, I think we were all thinking, Damn, first baseman Nick Swisher said.Its not a good feeling, Brantley said.When Pestano gave up two more hits Cody Allen had to come in to get Victor Martinez with runners on second and third.But even then the Indians showed a little bravado. As Francona and others stood on the mound, Francona said second baseman Jason Kipnis looked at him and said: Well get a walk-off.It turned out not to be false, as Brantley hit his second home run (to go with a two-run double) in the bottom of the eighth following Swishers leadoff walk.Make no mistake, though, the Indians knew how perilously close they had come to a crushing loss. They also knew how much they needed to beat Detroit and how shaky the bullpen was and has been.What was a given team strength when the season started has .. : --Given up 127 runs in the seventh inning or later, 28th in the majors and second-to-last in the American League.--A 4.47 ERA in those innings, also 28th in baseball.--An overall ERA of 4.13, 23rd in baseball.--Blown 17 saves (they had a save and a blown save on Sunday), which ties for highest in the AL.Yes, Cleveland, there seems to be a problem.Im not going to comment on what other guys are doing, Pestano said. I know that Ive definitely had my struggles and Im a big part of that.Hunter entered the game 0-for-7 against Pestano, and Pestano said he did what he always promises he wont.Ive always said Im not going to get beat throwing my second-best pitch and thats exactly what happened, Pestano said after Hunter crushed a hanging slider. I gave in. In the Indians last nine games, the bullpen ERA is 5.45.Of course there have only been two quality starts in those nine games, which might have cause and effect.Had the Indians lost Sunday, the bullpen and pitching would be much discussed. But in a game that had four lead changes, a blown save, five stolen bases and six home runs, the Indians didnt let Detroits comeback deflate them.Instead of a tough loss, they focused on an uplifting win.And maybe its roots started with the gathering after Saturdays game.Any time Jason GIambi talks, its good, Francona said. Not only do they listen but I listen. Hes got that kind of presence about him. Actually I was talking to G a lot during (Saturdays) game about things, and I was glad he did it.Francona didnt go into specifics about what Giambi said at the meeting -- If they wanted you in there theyd have opened the doors, Francona said casually -- but did talk generally.Theres a way to compete, he said. A way to fight back. Through all the ups and downs I think were one-and-a-half back. Thats not very far. Which proves the manager is aware of his teams positioning, but not completely, which means he really does focus on the day-to-day thing. Because the Indians are two-and-a-half back.But after two bad to the Tigers, the Indians have a chance to break even in the series. The starting pitcher for Detroit is Max Scherzer, who is 13-0, but the games are played for a reason.Like we were talking about (Saturday), Swisher said. We got nothing to lose, and if we go out there and play loose and play our type of baseball, stress-free, that's our best way of playing.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: JJ Watt re-injures back, facing extended absence

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

Nebraska regent wants players kicked off team for kneeling during anthem

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky tells the hilarious story of his secret Hall of Fame visit

Wilson Ramos done for year with torn ACL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sam Allardyce, English FA announce contract termination just 67 days into the job

Report: Clint Dempsey to miss rest of 2016 MLS season

Report: Rose not revealing true concern over rape investigation

UFC 205 headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Green Beret shares how he helped alter Kaepernick protest

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker