Player of the Game
Michael Brantley provided most of the scoring for the Tribe today including the first run of the game on a solo home run and the game tying run in the sixth inning when he scored on David Murphy’s double. In addition, Brantley had an RBI double in the fourth to keep the game within reach. Brantley’s final POG score was 6.25 as he becomes the first player in 2014 to win his third Player of the Game award.
Clutch hits have been one thing missing from the Indians offense this season (hits in any situation being another) and they finally got one today, courtesy of Michael Brantley. With two outs in the fourth, the Indians down two and Jason Kipnis on first, Brantley ripped a double down the right field line. With two outs in the inning, Kipnis was able to score from first and Brantley to go to third on the throw. While his home run may have been more impressive, this hit was more important as it came with two outs and the Indians losing.
It looked like a scoring opportunity had been squandered in the sixth after Jason Kipnis was picked off first, clearing the bases with two outs. Reliever Aaron Loop walked the next three batters, however, bringing hope anew and David Murphy came through when he needed to with a three run double to give the Indians a 5-4 lead. Like many of Murphy’s hits this year, it was served to the opposite field and came in an important situation and gave him his 15th RBI in just 16 games.
Continuing a solid start, the Indians bullpen was dynamic against today, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings. Josh Outman came in directly for Carrasco in the sixth and stranded a runner by striking out Ryan Goins to end the inning. Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen then each earned holds with scoreless innings of their own. John Axford worked around a little trouble, but also managed to pitch a scoreless inning for the save.
For the second week in a row, Carlos Carrasco was great until the fourth inning when he started to fall apart. After throwing three perfect innings to start the game, Carrasco gave up three straight hits to start the fourth to score one run, then, after a strike out, he allowed another single to give Toronto the lead. The Blue Jays would add another on a ground out to make it 3-1. In the end, he went 5.2 innings and allowed four runs with five strike outs, making this very similar to his previous appearances. Over the first three innings, Carrasco looked unhittable, but once the Jays hitters got a second chance at him, they had no trouble hitting the ball hard all over the park. This seems to further cement the idea that Carrasco’s best role would be in relief, where he wouldn’t have to face hitters multiple times.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Toronto Blue Jays 4
On Deck: The Indians will take on the top team in the Central, the Kansas City Royals, for four at home, starting with Jeremy Guthrie and Zach McAllister at 7:05 PM on Monday.