Player of the Game
Justin Masterson wasn't able to finish the game, but he still put out one of his nicest starts of the year as he shut out the Rangers through 7.2 innings. Masterson struck out eight and allowed just eight base runners all night. The effort earned him his 12th win of the season and his 11th POG award.
Michael Bourn lead things off with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. It was the second time he lead off a game with a home run this year and was the only scored all night. In a game that saw most Indians hitters strike out twice, Bourn reached base safely in his first three at bats, adding two walks after the home run.
The pitching duel happened as expected with brilliant outings by both Justin Masterson and Yu Darvish. Darvish allowed a single run in the first inning, but only gave up two more hits all night. Darvish struck out 10 and walked four, but throwing so many pitches was costly and he was pulled after the sixth inning and 123 pitches. Masterson pitched much more efficiently, allowing him to throw into the eighth inning for the Tribe, striking out eight, while giving up just five hits.
This game was the perfect contrast to last night's game, which featured a ton of offense and bad relief pitching on both sides of the board. Tonight's match featured superb pitching all around with no great scoring chances with less than two outs for either team. In fact, the game was won offensively with the first at bat of the game for the Tribe.
It turns out that one of Texas' top relievers was unavailable for last night's game after he was knocked out. Tanner Scheppers was trying to catch meal on the street and was blindsided by a group of people. Of course, this will be the story coming out of this series, rather than the great starting pitching and late inning heroics. The situation is simply disgraceful for the city of Cleveland.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 1 – Texas Rangers 0