Player of the Game
Starting pitcher Scott Kazmir was dominant today, throwing six shut out innings and striking out a dozen before handing the game over to the bullpen. His 9.25 POG score marks this as his second best game of the season (he threw an eight inning shut out against the Mariners earlier in the year). This time, Kazmir allowed just four hits and no walks. His greatest asset then became his greatest liability when all the strike outs forced him to leave the game early due to a high pitch count.
Scott Kazmir was on fire today, blowing away the Mets hitters easily. He struck out a season high 12 batters and all were swinging. Kazmir had a ton of movement on his mid 90's fastball, on which he recorded most of his strike outs.
The Indians did the little things right tonight to slowly build a lead against Zach Wheeler and the Mets. They scored single runs in three of the first five innings, each time taking advantage of singles by moving the runners along and scoring them by any means necessary. Carlos Santana knocked in two of the runs with a sacrifice fly in the first and a single in the fifth.
Jason Kubel and Matt Carson have become a platoon of sorts, with Kubel starting games and Carson coming in to pinch run and play defense late in games. So far things have worked out well with Kubel reaching base six times and Carson scoring twice. This was the first game that Carson didn't score immediately after coming in as a pinch runner for Kubel, but the defensive difference makes up for that.
Nick Swisher put things out of reach for the Mets in the bottom of the eighth with a grand slam. It was his first home run in his last 17 games and lead to an exciting night in Br-Ohio.
Milestone Watch: Scott Kazmir moved back into 13th place in K/9 among all players in the history of baseball. He actually started the season in 11th place, but fell off some during the season as the strike out totals waned. His tremendous start tonight moved him up four places in the all-time rankings.
Milestone Alert: Even bigger news, as far as the Indians are concerned, is that Joe Smith just tied Rafael Betancourt with 84 career holds, making him the most prolific (if not the best) set up man in Indians (recent) history.
The win puts the Indians record back to 10 games above .500, a mark they haven't been at since they lost five straight to Detroit and Atlanta. They have won three in a row and four of the last five since then.
After Kazmir was removed in the sixth, Cody Allen took over and immediately allowed the first home run of the year and just the seventh in the five year career of Justin Turner.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 8 – New York Mets 1