Roster Update: Jack Hannahan has completed his rehab starts and joined the team tonight, batting ninth and playing third base. Scott Barnes was sent back down to AAA to make room for Jack. Barnes last outing was one of the worst by an Indian this season as he allowed 5 runs in a third of an inning. The Indians have had an extra relief pitcher on the roster since Matt LaPorta was sent down for Esmil Rogers.
Player of the Game
Justin Masterson had the second highest scoring game of the season (Jason Kipnis game 23, 8.91) with a score of 8.58 as he won his 2nd consecutive Player of the Game award (has won 4 in his last 6 starts). Masterson pitched 7 shut out innings and struck out 9, while only walking three. He was also able to tag on a win, his third of the season.
Masterson had his strikeout pitch working as he k’d 9 total batters during tonight’s game. This included a stretch where got 7 straight outs via the strikeout across the second, third and fourth innings.
After being absent for a series, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez showed no rust as they combined to pitch two shut out innings to end the game. Pestano earned his 16th hold while Perez had his league leading 21st save.
Hit Streak Update: A walk by Carlos Santana in the 8th inning allowed Michael Brantley to get his 4th at bat of the game and his first hit. The RBI single moves his hitting streak to 22 consecutive games.
Lonnie Chisenhall was removed in the 7th inning after going 1-2. His replacement, Jose Lopez, then popped out with runners on first and third, keeping the Indians from scoring in on a very easy chance. The Indians need to show more trust in Chisenhall. Even if he didn’t get a hit, he could have hit just a weak ground ball to the right side to score the run. He will never be able to build up his own confidence if the Indians don’t show confidence in him.
The Indians offense was basically nonexistent tonight as they were only able to come up with three hits and a single run against James McDonald. This is probably just another case of a good pitcher that gets no national attention because he plays for a small market team.
Play of the Game
Justin Masterson struck out Jose Tabata on three pitches in the 4th inning (his 7th out in a row by strikeout) to keep the Pirates from scoring with the bases loaded.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Pittsburgh Pirates 0