Player of the Game
In his first game this season, David Huff earned his first win since May 29th, 2010 and this game’s ‘Player of the Game’ award. Huff pitched 7 innings allowing no earned runs, 5 hits and only two walks while striking out 5. Huff earned 8.07 ‘POG’ points in the win with one of the better starts of any Indians pitcher this season. Hopefully Chris Antonetti will agree that he deserves a second start and he will not be removed from the roster before the night game. Asdrubal Cabrera (5.61 ‘POG’ points) had a great day as well with his 3 run home run that provided the difference in the final score. Vinnie Pestano (1.77) also played well as the impromptu closer as he picked up his second save of the season in relief of Chad Durbin.
Lonnie Chisenhall has slightly underperformed expectations, most noticeably with his batting average of .213, but he has still contributed to the scoring effort. The Chiz Kid has been on base in 15 out of his 17 games played including today when he was safe on an error and scored on Ezequiel Carrera’s double. As far as the team is concerned it is better to allow Chisenhall to play everyday and struggle as Lonnie playing poorly is about the same as Jack Hannahan playing the best baseball of his career. It also should get this struggle out of the way early so he can reach his full potential in time for when the Indians really need him.
David Huff was very impressive in his 2011 debut, going 7 shut out innings. Huff was able to avoid a lot of the problems he had in 2010, most notably his control. While only walking 2, David also managed to avoid throwing any pitches straight down the middle of the plate. He did an especially good job of pitching around the Twins only real power threats, Jim Thome, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. These hitters went 1-8 against Huff with a walk and 3 strike outs. It was his third career shutout of 6+ innings and his first since 2009.
It ain’t over yet. Stay tuned for game 2 coming up at 8:10. The Indians will need to make another roster move prior to the game as expected starting pitcher, Fausto Carmona is still on the disabled list. The most probable player to be sent down is Jeanmar Gomez as David Huff pitched so well today it would be very hard to not give him another start. Carmona will be pitching against Scott Diamond in his Major League debut.
Seeing Jim Thome play in Twinstripes makes me long even more for the day that he could return to the Indians to end his career. I would love nothing more than if the Indians were able to trade for Thome to give him one more shot at a World Series championship as the Indians greatest all-time slugger.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Minnesota Twins 2