Roster Update: As expected, the Indians made a roster move following last night's game to shore up the bullpen. Also as expected, Scott Barnes was the odd man out as he heads back to Columbus for the third time. Of the three choices for relief pitcher from AAA, the Indians went with Matt Langwell, who has been used in long relief for the majority of his minor league career. He has been fantastic this year, posting a 2.30 ERA in 27 innings over 20 appearances for the Clip Show. Over his career he has a K/9 of exactly nine and he looks to be ready as ever for the big show.
Player of the Game
If the Indians ever needed Ubaldo Jimenez to come through for them, today was the day and he responded with his best game of the year. With most of the bullpen options exhausted after last night's eight hour adventure, Ubaldo did no less than pitch eight incredibly strong innings, shutting out the Rays to get the Indians back into a tie for first. He struck out seven batters and allowed just four hits as he continues his trend of getting back to 2010. His POG score of 10.10 is the fifth best overall of any Indians player this year and the third best by a starting pitcher.
Milestone Alert: Jason Giambi hit another home run (three of four hits in a row were home runs) and it moved him into 40th place all time in MLB history. His 434th home run ties him with Andruw Jones and Juan Gonzalez. An interesting note about his place in history; every player that has hit more home runs than Giambi whose career ended before 1990 is in the Hall of Fame except for Dave Kingman. Seventeen players above him are recent (or active) players and are not in the Hall of Fame. Giambi's Hall of Fame case will be interesting as he has admitted to doing steroids, but was apologetic. This blast gave him home runs in three straight games and 5 of his 14 hits this year have left the yard.
Apparently, sleep is important. The top three players for the Indians in this game were the starting pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez (who was allowed to leave last night's game early), Jason Giambi and Jason Kipnis none of whom played last night. Giambi and Kipnis combined for all the Indians hits until Asdrubal Cabrera's fifth inning home run.
Two infield singles were the only thing keeping Ubaldo Jimenez from a no hitter through six innings. Jimenez gave up a double in the seventh as well, but no harm came from it as he shut down the rest of the side in order. The Rays best chance to score came in the second inning after the first bunt single, when Jason Kipnis threw an attempted double play ball into the dugout. This gave the Rays a runner on second with two outs, but Jimenez struck out Jose Molina to end the inning.
The combined team shut-out was the Indians 8th of the season. Justin Masterson has started four of those games and Ubaldo has started two with Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer pitching the other two.
The Indians struck out ten times today and didn't even have the benefit of playing the bottom of the ninth. Drew Stubbs lead the way with a strike out in all four at bats, but few were immune with just three players avoiding the K.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Tampa Bay Rays 0