Player of the Game
Carlos Carrasco pitched two perfect innings tonight, enough to win the Player of the Game in a game where the Indians were shut out. Carrasco struck out two, equaling the total output of the rest of the bullpen combined. It is his third award of the season and his second as a relief pitcher.
Despite being asked to put in some overtime tonight, the bullpen excelled, including the third straight great relief outing by Carlos Carrasco. While he may not like it, the long time starter may have finally found something he is good at. In a relief role, his ability to concentrate on just one batter at a time and give everything on every pitch has allowed signs to show of the superstar he was supposed to be. With the incredible array of starting talent currently not in the rotation (Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are the best), it would be nice to see Carrasco stay in this role to see if he can continue his success next season. Overall, the bullpen threw four innings and didn't allow a hit or run while striking out three.
Danny Salazar didn't have his best stuff tonight, but only hurt himself once, giving up a two out, two run triple to Elliot Johnson in the second inning. It didn't help matters that he had to bat either, as he struck out in both of his at bats. The combined below average play caused Terry Francona to remove Salazar before the fifth inning, keeping him from having to face Johnson or come to the plate again.
The Indians have really hurt themselves over the past week by not placing Ryan Raburn on the DL. He has missed 10 of the Indians last 11 games (and 12 of the last 14) due to a left calf strain that has rendered him unable to play in the field. Already carrying an eight man bullpen, the Indians are short a man on the bench and with Jason Giambi unable to play in the field they are down two. With all this, only Lonnie Chisenhall, Giambi and Yan Gomes were available to pinch hit today in a game that the starting pitcher was removed in after the fourth inning.
What's a post game report without a lineup criticism? Tonight for some reason, the Indians' second best hitter (Michael Brantley) was batting seventh, while usual bench player Mike Aviles batted fifth. This is to say nothing of Nick Swisher batting second despite being a very below average hitter all season.
As the number eight hitter in an NL game, Drew Stubbs had a little more pressure than normal put on him. He responded with an 0-2 night, stranding a runner in scoring position and
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0 – Atlanta Braves 2