Player of the Game
Games like this are difficult to find a Player of the Game and that is why the POG stat was invented. Today, Marc Rzepczynski came out on top with 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball. When he entered in the seventh, there was already a runner on base, but Zep stranded him and allowed just one more base runner (one walk) during the rest of his time in the game. His final POG score was 1.69 for his first award of the season.
Although most of the Indians offense couldn’t figure out Mark Buehrle, Jason Kipnis continued his hot stretch, getting on in his first two at bats via HBP and walk to reach base safely six straight at bats. He started the streak yesterday with three straight singles and a walk to end the game. The streak ended with a ground out in the sixth.
The Indians may look bad using normal defensive statistics, but that doesn’t tell half the story as they have actually been much worse. The Blue Jays got on the board in the first after two singles that were both misplayed by Nick Swisher and an easy passed ball by Yan Gomes. The inning started with a Melky Cabrera triple and Toronto was able to easily score two thanks to the sloppy defense
Buehrle was on point today, which should be nothing new to Indians fans. In his seven innings he allowed just eight batted balls to pass the infield, getting 13 of his 21 outs on ground balls including two double plays. He wasn’t just solid pitching, but was also tested defensively, making plays in four straight innings from the second through the fifth. Although he did allow the first two hitters to reach in the eighth without recording an out, former Indian Esmil Rogers came in and stranded them both, keeping Buehrle’s ERA at a svelte 0.64.
Corey Kluber was the victim of bad luck today and it was the kind that will never show up on the box score. While he officially gave up nine hits, at least three of those were due to poor fielding plays (two by Nick Swisher, one by Mike Aviles). Continuing with this thought, his first two runs allowed would not have scored had the Indians defense been just a little better. He allowed just one more run before the seventh inning when it all fell apart after he hit the 100 pitch mark.
The Indians loss earlier in the week to Detroit pushed them into fifth place in the AL Central, but a rash of mediocrity allowed the Indians to stay just 1.5 games out of first despite losing yesterday. While standings are generally meaningless at this point in the season, the Indians will have to turn things around quickly if they want to compete in what looks to be a much tougher division than the national outlets originally projected. Two three game losing streaks in the first month is definitely not the way they wanted to start the year.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0 – Toronto Blue Jays 5
On Deck: The Indians will attempt to salvage a single win in this series with Toronto in the finale, tomorrow at 1:05 PM.