Player of the Game
Carlos Santana had a come from behind Player of the Game win, surpassing Michael Brantley and his second consecutive two RBI day in his last at bat. Overall, Santana went 2-5 with a double and a home run, knocking in two and scoring twice as well for a POG score of 5.68. He just nudged out Brantley who scored 4.25.
This series has been very low scoring considering the Indians opposition, but the Tribe was able to mount a comeback today in the fourth after going down two to nothing. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana started the inning off with hits to score the first run, then Asdrubal Cabrera walked to put runners back on first and second. After two outs were made, Michael Brantley came through with another two out RBI hit to score Santana. Mike Aviles followed him with another single, making the score 3-2.
Yan Gomes continues to excel as a defensive catcher and today caught Jonathan Villar out on the bases twice. The first play was a nice caught stealing at second after Villar singled. The second time was even more impressive as he picked him off first base after Jose Altuve missed a bunt. Gomes currently ranks sixth in the AL in fielding percent among catchers with at least 70 starts. He has now caught 43% of the runners attempting to steal, making him first in the AL in that category.
The Indians finally did in the sixth inning of the fourth game of this series what they should have been doing all weekend, they blew out the Astros. Old friend, Phillip Humber (in his last game against Cleveland he allowed eight runs in 0.1 innings) came in for Erik Bedard that inning and allowed a two run triple, a sacrifice fly and a double, pushing the Indians lead to five runs.
Milestone Update: With his 73rd game of the season, Cody Allen has surpassed six players on the All-Time list to move to become the fourth most used pitcher in a single season in Indians history, tied with Rafael Perez (2008) and Danys Baez (2003). Assuming his current rate, he will end the season as the Indians second most used reliever in team history.
The four game sweep of Houston gives the Indians six four game sweeps on the season, the most by any team since 1961 when the Yankees did it. Interestingly, three of the sweeps came against the AL West (Seattle, Oakland and Houston) and the other three came against the White Sox, who the Indians will play next. Cleveland has one four game series left to end the season in Minnesota.
Corey Kluber had issues with his command for the second start in a row and it lead to him giving up two runs on five hits through the first four innings of the game. His inability to throw strikes where he wants to allowed the Astros to sit back and wait for their pitch, which they did fairly well early on. Kluber only walked one batter, but it was in the fourth inning at the worst possible time as the Astros then loaded the bases and took a 2-0 lead.
After today the Astros will be going to Arlington to take on the Indians' number one contender the Texas Rangers. While it was nice that the Indians got to beat up on the worst team in the American League for four games, it won't amount to much if the Rangers do the exact same thing this week.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 9 – Houston Astros 2