Player of the Game
Asdrubal Cabrera won his team leading 6th ‘Player of the Game’ tonight and he did so with authority. Asdrubal went 4 for 6, driving in 3 and scoring twice. Three of Cabrera’s four hits were doubles, giving him 14 on the year and a ‘POG’ score of 7.25. The Tribe as a team hit 6 doubles, one short of the season high, for the second night in a row. Other notable players were Matt LaPorta who knocked in three and scored two of his own, but did so with only three hits (a home run and 2 singles) and Vinnie Pestano, who stranded a runner left on by Rafael Perez by striking out two of the three batters he faced. Pestano now has 6 strike outs out of his last 8 outs. LaPorta ended the game with a ‘POG’ score of 6.98 and Pestano had a 1.57.
After losing two straight series to American League East teams (Boston and Tampa Bay), it’s great to win a series. The Indians built such a lead early in the season that they don’t have to sweep every series to go to the playoffs, but each series win goes a long way to making that dream a reality.
I’ve mentioned in the past the best way to deal with Jose Bautista and hitters like him, is to walk them and face the next batter who is hitting .250. The Indians used the second best way to eliminate the presence of a hitter like Bautista tonight. Score so many runs so that even if he hit a home run in every at bat, he couldn’t win the game on his own.
Every Indians starter was on base at least twice tonight, leading to the 13 runs the Indians scored. They all did it different ways too. Adam Everett, Grady Sizemore and Michael Brantley each had two hits, Travis Buck, Matt LaPorta and Asdrubal Cabrera each had more than two hits, Carlos Santana walked three times, and Jack Hannahan combined a walk with a hit. Shin-Soo Choo was the only hitter to not really earn his times on base, but he was still on base three times, on a fielder’s choice, a single and an error that looked a lot like a triple.
The Blue Jays matched and beat the Indians double-doubles from yesterday with a triple-triple. Three consecutive batters, Eric Thames, Rajai Davis and former Indian Jayson Nix all tripled in the 5th inning, leading to three Blue Jay runs.
Indians pitching was unable to put the Jays away in what should have been a laugher. Rather than just the customary Chad Durbin and Frank Herrmann that are usually used in games that Indians are winning by more than 5 runs, the Tribe also needed to use Rafael Perez and Vinnie Pestano. This is mostly because Josh Tomlin was unable to make it past 6 innings. An interesting note: while the Indians needed to use 5 pitchers to get through 9 innings, the Blue Jays needed to use 7, every pitcher getting at least 2 outs, but no more than 6.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 13 runs on 18 hits, Canada Blue Jays 9 runs on 11 hits.