Player of the Game
How about Frank Herrmann? He hasn’t won one yet. Herrmann took home his first player of the game today for his extended three inning performace out of the bullpen. It is the 4th time out of the last 5 games that the ‘Player of the Game’ winner has won his first (the other one was Shelley Duncan who won his first two over that span). In his three innings, Herrmann only allowed 3 baserunners and struck out two, scoring 2.91 ‘POG’ points and limiting the Rays to the runs they scored against Justin Masterson. Usually the team has to play very poorly for a middle reliever to even have a chance at winning this award and middle relievers have won two in this series against the Rays. That should tell you something about the way this team is playing right now. Herrmann lowered his ERA to 8.49 with his 3 scoreless innings.
At least Grady Sizemore is playing something. He struck out 4 times today, including one to end the game with runners on first and second, but at least he’s playing. I guess.
With Grady DHing and Carlos Santana playing first, Matt LaPorta is bumped out of the starting lineup by Lou Marson. While Carlos Santana cannot catch everyday, it would have been nice if he could have waited until the Toronto series to take his day at first. This way, Grady could have played in center and the Indians would be able to DH Matt LaPorta and insert him in the lineup instead of Travis Buck. It may only be a slight improment, but it would be an improvement. At this point the Indians need all the runs they can get.
If there was one game this series the Indians should have won, it was this one. Just based on the pitching matchup, the Indians had their ace Justin Masterson going against rookie starter Jeremy Hellickson. Masterson ran into trouble allowing more runs than in any other start this year (6) and pitching the least amount of innings (5) while Hellickson confounded the Indians hitters with 80 MPH change-ups. I guess that’s what they mean when they say, “any given Sunday.”
Justin Masterson has been extremely unlucky for the entire month of May. After winning every single (5-0) start he had in April, Masterson has went 0-3 in 6 starts in May. This may seem like he was been pitching poorly, but prior to his start today, Masterson had an ERA of 2.80 in May and only allowed more than two runs in a game once (also against the Rays). Justin had his worst start of the season today by far, but even though he allowed 6 runs his ERA is still only 3.07. It would have been impossible for him to go the whole season without a bad game or two, but hopefully since he doesn’t have to face the Rays again, Masterson will get back to his old self for the rest of the season. This year against Tampa Justin has allowed 11 runs in two games, while only allowing 20 earned runs to the rest of the league in 10 games.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0, Tampa Bay Rays 7