Player of the Game
Jason Kipnis ran this game from the Tribe’s side with his first great game since mid July. Kipnis started the game off with a home run off the foul pole and added on later with a two out RBI single. His efforts earned him a final Player of the Game score of 4.38. Of course he also ended the game with a double play with the tying run on second, but his positives tonight far outweigh his negatives.
Ubaldo Jimenez found his strikeout pitch again, whatever that is worth. He finished the game with 8, a tie for his second highest total on the season. His real success tonight (and tonight was a success for him) came from keeping runners off the base paths, his only early mistake being a home run allowed after a single by Dustin Ackley which hit him in the arm.
Here is the section where we stick up for Chris Perez yet again in yet another controversy. If you have seen the video, you know what I’m talking about. First off, Perez was obviously set up and anyone who has ever been in the midst of a huge losing streak in one of the biggest collapses in team history can understand why his temper may have been a little short. The biggest mistake he made was doing this in front of a camera, which he claims he didn’t see. Pure Rage earned his nickname for a reason and the real question is, do the Indians want a passionate closer or one that is a little cooler tempered, but just as dominant like Vinnie Pestano or Joe Smith. Looking at history, the passionate closers seem to play great for a year or two (John Rocker, Jonathan Papelbon and Jose Mesa come to mind) while the more relaxed pitchers who just do their job seem to sustain success for much longer (think Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and Joe Nathan). Of course there are many more players who only had one or two good seasons, some of whom were calm, while others were excitable, but there have been very few long term successful closers and all I can think of were stoic.
Joe Smith’s ERA is being decimated and it’s not really his fault. In the last two games three of his inherited runners have been allowed to score by the next reliever (Pestano three days ago and Tony Sipp today). Smith has been great all year, but he can’t control how the pitcher that comes in after him pitches.
Mariners outfielder Trayvon Robinson set a Mariners record for put outs by a left fielder. While he did make a couple nice plays (especially one on a foul ball hit by Michael Brantley) for the most part his night was routine. This means there were a lot of opposite field flies against the junk baller that used to be Kevin Millwood. This is the second time in a week that a player from the late 1990′s has stymied the Tribe.
With the loss the Indians remain a half game behind Kansas City in fourth place in the AL Central.
Play of the Game
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Seattle Mariners 5