Player of the Game
With 2 hits, 2 runs scored an RBI and a walk, Shelley Duncan won his 9th ‘Player of the Game’ of the season. This is his 4th award in the Indians last 11 games. Duncan has been especially impressive of late as he has been forced to play the outfield, rather than DH or play first base. He has even made a few decent looking plays in the last couple games where he didn’t look like he was wearing concrete boots. His score of 3.01 was over a full point higher than anyone else on the team.
Kosuke Fukudome deserves some props after playing 44 straight games since joining the Indians. Fukudome has played both center and right field while Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo have spent time on the DL with various ailments. Fukudome has been a pleasant surprise for the Tribe as he has hit .274/.320/.397 after hitting .273/.374/.369 with the Cubs. He has hit the same amount of home runs (3) and only 5 less total extra-base hits as an Indian as he did in twice as many games with the Cubs.
Shin-Soo Choo managed to take at least one at bat before he had to leave the game due to discomfort in his side. Ezequiel Carrera took his place in the lineup and the field for what was a pretty good example of the 2011 season. Choo will probably miss tomorrow’s game if experience has taught us anything, but will not have to be placed back on the disabled list.
The Columbus Clippers have come back after losing game one to win the last two games behind spectacular pitching performances by Mitch Talbot (remember him?) and Joe Martinez. Tonight Luke “should be an Indian” Carlin hit a home run to help the Clip Show beat the Iron Pigs 6-2. The Clippers will now try to finish off LeHigh Valley to take the Governors’ Cup in what will hopefully be a preview of the results of next years Indians team.
The Indians really helped the Rangers get their power numbers up this series as Tribe pitching allowed 8 home runs. The Rangers now have 5 players with more than 20 home runs each (Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, Adrien Beltre and Josh Hamilton) and 188 home runs as a team. Their 119 home runs at home are the most by any Major League team.
The Indians can be eliminated from the playoffs tonight if Detroit beats Oakland in their West Coast match-up. The White Sox were eliminated from the Central Division race when they lost to Kansas City earlier tonight.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – Texas Rangers 7