Opening day recap and player of the game:
This game started out all bad and ended up pretty good. Fausto Carmona started the game and was knocked around early, giving up 10 runs in three innings. It looked like the home plate umpire was squeezing the strike zone early on, which could have led to Carmona throwing too close to the middle of the plate. Carmona ended the game with a dreadful -12.88 ‘player of the game’ score, by far the worst this season (game) and one of the worst since I started keeping track in 2007.
After the poor start the Indians showed what they are capable of, by coming back from down 14, to lose by only 5. A great sign is that after struggling to score runs all last season, the Indians were able to score 10 today. Jack Hannanan and Carlos Santana hit home runs and Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley doubled. Travis Hafner would have also had a double if Shin-Soo Choo hadn’t made a base running error, costing Hafner an RBI as well. This power is good to see, even if it is just one game.
The Indians have been notorious for striking out a lot and not getting many strike outs in return, but they turned that around today. Only two Indians hitters struck out, while Tribe pitching struck out 14. Especially impressive were Frank Herrmann and Vinnie Pestano to finish the game, pitching a combined 3 innings while striking out 8.
Player of the game goes to (obviously) Carlos Santana for his tremendous performance at the plate. He had two singles along with home run over the left field wall. After all was over he came away with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored, good for a POG score of 7.12.
The final team POG score was 11.05. For the most part any team score under 14 is a loss and any score above 16 is a win.
Final score: White Sox 15 runs on 18 hits beat Indians 10 runs on 17 hits.
For an explanation of the ‘Player of the Game’ award and stats, check this out http://burningriverbaseball.com/2011/03/30/pog/