Terry Francona, Carl Willis Victimize Indians With Bizarre Bullpen Mix-Up

Annette Crawford
July 11, 2018

The mixup was a miserable one for the AL Central leaders.

It's how they managed to give up SEVEN runs in the 9th inning, part of which can be blamed by a lost-in-translation moment between Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis.

Reliever Cody Allen started the inning for the Indians, hitting a batter and giving up two singles and a double to cut Cleveland's lead to just 4-3. Willis heard "O.T.", which would've meant Otero.

"When I saw OT coming through the gate - and again, it's not that I don't think he can pitch - just not the guy I was expecting", Francona said, via The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans. "We had a communication (error)". "I know Carl's beating himself up right now, but that one lands on me". Sonny Gray, who has registered a 5.85 ERA so far this season, will take the mound for NY while Dylan Bundy is set to start for the Orioles. It's a wonder why Willis even thought Francona would be asking for Otero anyway, and why he didn't double-check.

Adam Duvall also doubled in a pair in the ninth, while Jose Peraza and Eugenio Suarez had RBI singles off Allen.


Manny Machado drove in three runs and scored two more in the Orioles' 6-5 win over the Yankees.

"I take sole responsibility for everything that took place there", Allen said.

Starter Trevor Bauer had struck out 12 over eight scoreless innings, and the Indians were three outs away from what could have been a 4-0 win. Pedro Martinez set the record with eight in 2002.

As Francona explained after the game, the mishap occurred when he called the bullpen to start warming up the next reliever. It was Otero's second blown save this season.

Francisco Lindor hit his fifth leadoff homer of the year and fellow All-Star Jose Ramirez had a solo shot for the Indians. The Reds won, 7-4.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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