Player of the Game
Nick Swisher hadn’t won a Player of the Game since the fourth game of 2014, but he snuck away with one today, with a POG score of just 3.14. Swisher was involved in all three Indians runs scored today and was officially credited with two doubles, a run and an RBI. In his first at bat, he moved Bourn from second to third with a fly out, in his second, he hit a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on a Kipnis ground out. In his third at bat, Swisher doubled again, this time scoring Bourn from first.
Because of the late start, Michael Bourn hasn’t garnered much attention this season, but he now has a team high six game hitting streak (tied with Yan Gomes) and has lead of the game by getting on base in five of nine starts. Today, he lead things off with a double, then took third on a short, Nick Swisher sacrifice fly to left. His aggressiveness caught Michael Morse by surprise and he was able to move up easily despite the closeness of the play. Bourn then scored the game’s first run when Jason Kipnis singled.
While pitchers hitting is usually a bad thing for an American League team, Zach McAllister surprised everyone with his first career hit, an opposite field single, in his first at bat. McAllister came out hacking and went down 0-2 before getting his hit. The pitch he finally did hit was well off the plate and chest high, similar to a few of David Murphy’s hits this year. Murphy just happened to be on first for the at bat and went to third on the play. Not to give him too much credit, McAllister came up with runners on first and second and one out and bunted into a double play in his second at bat.
The top of the line-up started heating up about a week ago and they have proven that it was no fluke in the past two games. Today, the Tribe’s top three scored runs in each of their first three times through the order. Bourn went 2-3 with a double and two runs scored, followed by Nick Swisher, who hit two doubles, knocked in and scored a run and Jason Kipnis, who went 1-3 with two RBI. All this offense knocked Giants starter, Tim Lincecum, out before the end of the fifth inning.
Unfortunately, the top of the Indians line-up heating up has not included their clean-up hitter, Carlos Santana. He is now batting just .128 after going 0-3 with a strike out in today’s game. He is hitless in the series so far, but has walked three times in the series. His walks have been his one positive aspect and the only excuse for him maintaining his clean-up role. With 21 on the season, he now ranks second in the Majors to only Jose Bautista.
After a great start to the game, McAllister lost it in the fifth inning, just as Lincecum did. In addition to walking his first batter of the game, he allowed four singles and four of the five base runners came around to score. He had allowed a hit to the lead-off batter of the game, but then retired the next 12 in order, largely due to the fact that he got ahead of the count early and threw a lot of strikes. The Giants picked up on this and were much more aggressive in the fifth with every single hitter, except Brandon Hicks who walked, swinging at the first pitch of the at bat. McAllister adjusted, throwing first pitch breaking balls to two of the last three hitters, but it was too late and the Giants hitters were still on his fastball. Hunter Pence dealt the big blow, a two run, two out single on a four seamer after getting down in the count 1-2.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – San Francisco Giants 5
On Deck: The finale of the three game series will take place at 4:05 PM Sunday, with Danny Salazar taking the mound against Ryan Vogelsong.