Player of the Game
Justin Masterson took the loss and the ‘Player of the Game’ today as somehow he only allowed one earned run, but lost 4-2. Masterson pitched 7 innings and only allowed 4 hits while striking out 6. He was even able to get out of the base runners he allowed out by pitching out on a hit and run. When the game was over, Masterson had a ‘POG’ score of 5.48, 4 points higher than the next best player. Joe Smith, Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner and Matt LaPorta all had scores over 1.00.
Lonnie Chisenhall has begun to come around, especially looking good on low inside pitches. Last series the Chiz kid took a ball on the inside corner at his knees out of the ball park, two days ago he hit a double and today he had a strong single on an inside fastball. You need a lot of bat speed and quick reflexes to put balls that far inside into fair territory and Chisenall has it.
Some oddities in the Indians schedule (the All-Star break, off days and rain outs), have lead to Justin Masterson pitching in 5 of the Indians last 15 games. The Indians know who their best pitcher is and they have used him well. Masterson has responded by pitching 29.2 innings during that span, only allowing 5 earned runs and striking out 27. If it weren’t for the unearned runs, Masterson would probably have gotten his 3rd win in those 5 games.
Ezequiel Carrera‘s 2 run dropped catch error brings up the idea that maybe Michael Brantley should be playing center field. Brantley has a lot more Major League experience in center than Carrera and has about equal speed with better off-the-bat instincts. It also seems at this point that Grady Sizemore will never really be able to play center field again at 100%. This means that if the Indians care more about winning than about offending Grady (and they seem to since Manny Acta did not shy away from dropping him down in the lineup), they will move him to left field upon his return and use Brantley in center field. If this is going to happen anyway, there is no reason Brantley shouldn’t be playing center right now. If this option is unsuitable, the Indians could always put Rick Manning back out there as he’s always ready to play.
After Carrera’s error, two more Indians errors combined to allow another run. Asdrubal Cabrera misplayed a ball at short, then Carlos Santana threw the ball into center field when trying to catch Alex Rios stealing allowing the runner, who shouldn’t have been on in the first place to get to third. Add in a single by Mark Teahan and you have one of the least earned runs you will ever see. Asdrubal needs to tighten his defense up if he wants serious attention as a possible Gold Glover. This was his second error in the last 4 games.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Chicago White Sox 4