Player of the Game
Backup catcher Lou Marson took advantage of a rare start to grab his first ‘Player of the Game’ award this season. Marson has been extremely consistent this season, trailing only Grady Sizemore (1.94) in average ‘POG’ score per game with a 1.74 in 8 games. Today Marson earned 3.43 ‘POG’ points with three hits including a triple and an RBI single. He also scored a run. The only other hitter today with a score over two was Asdrubal Cabrera, who knocked in the first two Indians runs of the game on a single.
Going into this series against Oakland we knew runs would be at a premium and the Indians still managed to take 2 games and win the series improving their overall record to 21-9. In the three game series the Indians scored 9 times and the A’s only scored 6 times. Extra-base hits were also hard to come by and only two home runs were hit in the entire series, both by David Dejesus against Josh Tomlin last night. Don’t expect things to get any easier as next, the Indians will travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels who will be starting Jared Weaver in game two and Dan Haren in game three. Both these pitchers have been among the top in the league so far and last time the Tribe faced Haren he shut them out.
There was some spectacular defense today especially by Indians short stop Asdrubal Cabrera and Athletics center fielder Ryan Sweeney. Cabrera did have an error, but the fact he even got to that ball was amazing and he had multiple other plays on ground balls that were far from routine. Joe Smith also deserves some credit for making a catch on a pop fly behind the mound. I’ve been getting tired of pitchers who don’t field their position, so it was refreshing to see Smith make such an athletic play. If he hadn’t made that play, the A’s probably would have scored and possibly would have won in regulation.
There was also some very bad defense today. Some disgustingly bad defense. Austin Kearns made another poor attempt on a fly ball to left field that Michael Brantley, with his better speed and instincts, almost surely would have caught. Jack Hannahan bobbled an easy (for him) grounder that allowed an inning to continue. Shelley Duncan dropped a foul ball that hit him in the mitt and Orlando Cabrera watched a ball drop five feet away from him after he lost it in the sun. For a team that defense has been a strength, this play was surprisingly bad.
Shin-Soo Choo was held hitless for the series and only reached base four times (3 walks and a fielder’s choice). This comes directly after his arrest for DUI earlier this week and you have to wonder if that affected his mental state at all. Before this short slump, Choo had an 8 game hitting streak going.
“Everyday Pure Rage” Chris Perez had some control problems today (1 walk, 2 singles allowed), probably stemming from fatigue. Perez has been overused in the last week due to the large number of close games. Perez has pitched in five of the Indians last six games and each of the Indians last 5 wins. What Chris could use right now is a couple of blowouts against the Angels, preferably by more than five runs each.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 runs on 11 hits, Oakland Athleticos 3 runs on 11 hits in 12 innings