Player of the Game
Similarly to last night, the hero wins the Player of the Game again as the Indians win in walk off fashion. Mark Reynolds knocked in three of the five Indians runs including a solo home run and the RBI fielder's choice to win the game.
When he was signed, everyone knew that Mark Reynolds was a home run hitter, but where he has impressed most this year has been with runners in scoring position and two outs. He knocked in the Indians first run in the first inning in this situation. As he has been able to consistently do this year (9/18 with 2 outs and RISP) he hit the ball the other way to score Asdrubal Cabrera from second.
Of course, Reynolds still has some power as well, which he showcased with the bases empty in the fifth inning right into the teeth of a strong wind blowing in from left. I don't believe I've ever seen a player that had so much control over the baseball that he could put it exactly where he wants, whenever he wants to.
Zach McAllister was dominant (again) pitching into the eighth inning for just the second time this year. After a lead-off double to start the game, McAllister didn't give up another extra base hit until the eighth, when he gave up a double and a home run for the first Mariners runs of the game. In fact, no runner reached third until Justin Smoak did in the 8th after his double.
Indians fans had their rally caps on tonight (they were free to the first 10,000 fans), but they may have worked the wrong way. With the Tribe winning from the first inning on, they weren't the team that needed a rally. The Mariners completed their own rally with two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to tie the game. The magic worked twice however, as the Indians were able to come back again in the ninth to win it.
Milestone Update: With a double in the ninth (and four total bases in all) Asdrubal Cabrera now has 1,135 total bases as an Indian, placing him in 50th all time, tied with great Indians outfielder, Homer Summa.
With Nick Hagadone down in the minors (despite being deserving of a Major League spot in the bullpen), Terry Francona placed his trust in Rich Hill again. Prior to today, Hill had allowed inherited runners to score in two straight appearances. As soon as Hill came into the game, Eric Wedge went to his bench and brought in the right handed Jason Bay to pinch hit, eliminating the similar hand advantage. While he exscaped just allowing a single this time, Francona was playing with fire by not just bringing in Vinnie Pestano to pitch the eighth.
Chris Perez blew just his second save of the season, ending a streak of 12 straight scoreless outings. The Indians closer allowed two solo home runs back-to-back against Justin Smoak and Raul Ibanez.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Seattle Mariners 4