Another wild game took place in the windy city between these two teams. If this is a sample of things to come; the summer of 2014 should be a wild ride in the central.
Player of the Game
There were several offensive players that are deserving of tonight’s honors. However, the nod goes to Michael Brantley for his ability to get on base when the team most needed it: when they were behind and when the game was tied. In addition to his RBI single which scored Nijer Morgan and Jason Kipnis in the first inning, he earned two key walks in both the 7th and 9th inning which led to big innings by the offense.
One of the better offenses in baseball put on a show today; once again needing to come from behind to win the game. The Indians were 4-9 with RISP (D. Murphy 1-2, M. Aviles 1-1, M. Brantley 1-1, R. Raburn 1-1, A. Cabrera 0-2, J. Kipnis 0-1, N. Swisher 0-1), capitalizing on opportunities when they needed too. They also hit three HR’s (D. Murphy; N. Swisher; J. Kipnis). The Indians made starter Felipe Paulino labor for the entire game as he threw 105 pitches in 5 innings of work. The offense also got to the Sox bullpen when they needed it; in the 7th and 8th inning. Everybody in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit with the exception of Carlos Santana who contributed with 2 BB’s and 2 R’s.
The bullpen “picked up” starter Justin Masterson by throwing 4.1 innings of near perfect baseball. The Outman, Shaw, Allen and Axford combination did not give up a run while only allowing 2 base runners between them.
A poor outing by Masterson has magnified the starting pitching troubles even more as he gave up 5 ER’s and 5 BB’s in only 4.2 innings pitched. Out of 102 pitches thrown, only 59 were strikes.
The Indians will try to split the 4 game series tomorrow. Both teams have a 6-6 record as Corey Kluber (1-1, 7.71 ERA) will square off against Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.77 ERA). There is a good chance for thunderstorms in the Chicago area, so there might be some delays.