Player of the Game
The two best players in this game were without a doubt, Steven Strasburg and Corey Kluber. While Strasburg allowed just one hit in five innings, he walked four, and gave up the only run of the game. Kluber on the other hand was able to pitch late into the game, throwing eight innings and striking out eight batters. He did allow seven hits, but walked none as he was completely under control all day. Three times Kluber got into trouble with a runner on third and no outs and each time he was able to pitch himself out of the situation without allowing a run. His POG score of 9.79 makes this his best game of the year.
Corey Kluber hasn't been striking out a whole lot of batters in his past two outings, but he showed he can rear back and get it when necessary. In the fourth inning today, a John McDonald error (what a great idea to sign him for his defense) lead to a situation with runners on first and third and no outs. With the middle of the line-up coming to bat, Kluber struck out Andy LaRoche looking and Jason Werth swinging to cool down the situation. He ended the inning by striking out Ian Desmond to keep the game scoreless. Kluber has struck out 8 or more in four of his last five starts (not including his rain delayed start against Tampa).
Anthony Rendon may have had a great series, but the Indians own second baseman had quite a series of his own. He went 5-9 with a two runs scored, three RBI and three walks. The series is part of a larger hot streak for the Dirt Ball who is on a nine game hitting streak during which he has raised his batting average from .238 to .270. Kipnis started the season 0-9 and has been playing catch up ever since. His current .270 average marks his high water mark for the year.
Nick Swisher was forced to sit out today's game with left shoulder soreness, the second time he has had difficulty with this issue this season. There has been talk of a possible DL stint for Swisher, who has been struggling lately, even without the injury. One good thing that could come about from this is that Mark Reynolds could have to move to first, with Swisher on the DL or playing DH. If this happened, the Indians would have to bring back Lonnie Chisenhall, who has been playing as well as humanly possible in AAA. Either way, this should see the end of Swisher in the outfield for good as it only took one start in right to aggrevate his shoulder this time.
A fun part of interleague play is getting to know some players you never see or hear about in the American League. The Indians got to know Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon pretty well this series. Yesterday, he was responsible for the go ahead home run against Vinnie Pestano in the ninth inning and today he started out 3-3 with two of the Nationals first three hits. Overall in the series, he went 6-9 with two runs and an RBI. Nats manager, Davey Johnson, must be feeling he missed out on a possible win by benching Rendon during the opener.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Washington Nationals 0