Player of the Game
Asdrubal Cabrera gratefully stepped up in the 9th inning to win a ‘Player of the Game’ award that apparently, no one else wanted. Cabrera had three hits on the night, two singles to go with his 9th inning home run, in just four at bats. Cabrera also made some moves defensively as he made a great diving catch to his right to rob a single and started a spectacular double play later in the game. Asdrubal won his team leading 7th ‘Player of the Game’ with a final score of 3.90. It is his second in the last three games.
This series is great for those who love to watch great short stops play the game. Two of the best in the league, Asdrubal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus are playing for the Rangers and Indians, and they haven’t disappointed through this part of the series. Not only can they both play spectacular defense, but they can hit as well.
Justin Masterson had good movement on his pitches, as evidenced by his 7 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. The problem tonight was the 10 hits Masterson gave up in that same span of time. He limited the damage as much as he good, by only allowing 2 runs to score while he was pitching, but you can only allow so many hits before the runs start scoring.
The Rangers score runs. That is how they have won games over my entire lifetime and they continue to do it today, only the faces have changed. If you play the Rangers and don’t score at least 6 runs, you will probably lose and the Indians scored less than 6 runs in both games so far this series. It is irrelevant how many runs Indians pitching gives up if the hitting can’t get more than 4 runs a game.
Elvis Andrus stole a base tonight on a pitch out. This would have been embarrassing for Carlos Santana, except that no one has caught Andrus all year. He is now 19 for 19 in stolen bases and leads the AL.
Chad Durbin is the Indians long reliever and Jeanmar Gomez is in AAA. Gomez has already pitched this year for the Indians and did well, both in a starting and long relief role and is now pitching for Columbus with a record of 4-1, an ERA of 2.53 and 36 strikeouts to only 16 walks.
Tony Sipp had his worst game of the season, giving up two home runs and allowing 5 runs to score (2 were attributed to Masterson). Sipp allowed 2 home runs and was not aided when a ball, that should have been caught, fell between Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Brantley and went for a double. The bullpen in general was terrible tonight and kept the Indians from having any chance of coming back.
The Indians have now lost 14 of their last 17 games against the Rangers. It probably has something to do with the fact that the Rangers base their team on hitting home runs and striking out batters, two things the Indians are very susceptible against, but the Tribe will have to find some way to turn this around. The Rangers are one of the elite teams in the Majors now and must be contended with.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2, Texas Rangers 11