Player of the Game
Corey Kluber made a strong case to stay in the rotation today as he pitched into the seventh for the third time this year and struck out a career high, ten. His Player of the Game score of 7.58 is his highest this year and the best by any player since Justin Masterson's seven inning shut out a week ago. Kluber allowed just three base runners all game and a single run. He did a good job mixing up his pitches and was especially good using his curve ball as a swing-and-miss pitch.
It may look bad that the Indians have lost five of their last six games, but if you look at the season on a series level, the Indians have lost just twoe series since April 19th. Over that span the Indians have won six series, split five and lost two. Even more importantly, two of the series wins were four game sweeps against Seattle and Oakland. The Indians remain in good position in the division at just a game and a half back and there are plenty of games left this year.
I hope you brought your strike out hats today, kids. Corey Kluber lead the way with ten strike outs in 6.2 innings, but Felix Doubront wasn't far behind with eight of his own. Asdrubal Cabrera lead the Indians hitters with three strike outs while Mike Napoli completed the same feat for the Red Sox. The pitchers were likely aided by the confusion of the strike zone (especially the outside corner) as home plate umpire Chris Guccione had as inconsistent of a strike zone as you will ever see.
Jason Kipnis returned to form as the Fenway killer with a home run to short right field and was safe two other times as well, scoring three of the Indians five runs. In his first at bat, Kipnis reached safely after center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury dropped his fly ball. He scored then and after his eighth inning double as well.
As if Red Sox games weren't long enough, for some reason they have to start their day games a half hour later than every other team in baseball. In addition to that, Guccione was having trouble calling strikes, making at bats last many more pitches than necessary.
Chris Perez struggled for his third consecutive outing after being almost perfect through the Indians first 40 games. Tonight he allowed three walks, two hits and two steals in the ninth inning after coming in with a three run lead. After allowing two runs to score and walking the bases loaded, Perez was obviously in pain and was removed from the game. His final throw, a warm up pitch to test his arm, went to the back-stop, at least three feet off the plate. Perez has been dealing with some arm issues of late, but this is the most it has effected him.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Boston Red Sox 6