Player of the Game
Scott Kazmir pitched a great game tonight, going six shut out innings and allowing just two hits. One of these hits he even canceled out with a single of his own. Kazmir struck out seven and walked two in the win as he was never really in trouble against Miami. His POG score of 8.10 makes this his second best start on the season and wins him his 7th Player of the Game on the year.
Kazmir put together the best game by an Indians pitcher offensively so far this season with a fifth inning single right back up the middle on a 98 MPH fast ball. This single is the only hit by a pitcher this year and he is just the second batter outside of the 13 regular batters to get a hit this year (Ezequiel Carrera is the other). Indians pitchers will have just one more chance during the regular season to pick up the bats when they head to Atlanta at the end of the month.
Mark Reynolds had a two hit game, including a double that would have been a home run at almost any other ballpark. This was his first two hit game since July 8th, breaking a span of 12 games, during which he batted .121 and knocked in just a single run. The fact that he pulled the ball strongly twice against a right handed pitcher might just be a little step in the right direction for the Indians' DH.
Yan Gomes was able to continue his six game multi-hit streak. In the six games he has hit safely at least twice in each game, adding three to the total today. He has now reached base 18 times in the six game stretch via hit, HBP, walk or fielder's choice.
The bullpen kept Scott Kazmir's strike out styling going into the late innings as Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith combined to strike out batters for five of their six outs after Kazmir struck out seven in the first six innings.
With the lineup already devoid of a DH, the Terry Francona decided to stack the deck completely against the Tribe today. Regular starters Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana were held out of the game in favor of playing the entire bench outside of Jason Giambi.
You have to love Jason Kipnis' team first attitude, but for the third time this season, he decided to lay a sacrifice bunt down instead of trying to knock the runner in himself. With a one run lead in the eighth, Kipnis moved Mike Aviles from second to third with a bunt, giving the RBI opportunity to Ryan Raburn. This would be fine except that Kipnis is the Indians best hitter in every facet of the game. The chances of Aviles scoring from second with no outs and Kipnis up are almost certainly higher than him scoring from third with one out and Raburn up. Luckily for everyone, the Indians second best hitter, Michael Brantley, was able to bring Aviles home and pick up his teammates.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Miami Marlins 0