Player of the Game
Scott Atchison relieved Carlos Carrasco and threw 1.1 scoreless innings, making him the most important player for the Tribe in this game. Atchison came on with a runner on and stranded him while getting the final out in the sixth before throwing a perfect seventh. In that inning, great defense by Asdrubal Cabrera and Atchison himself were necessary to keep the Twins off the bases. Atchison’s final POG score was 1.90, making him the first two time Player of the Game winner in 2014.
Lonnie Chisenhall may not have been named a starter, but he has outplayed almost every player who was. Today, Chisenhall’s third inning double lead to the Tribe’s first run, after an wild pitch. This season, he is tied for first in runs scored (3) and doubles (2), second in hits (4) and first in all rate stats (.500/.556/.750). This was just his second start at third base this season, but if his offensive hot streak continues, the Indians will have a hard time finding excuses to keep him out of the line-up.
Despite Carlos Carrasco’s failings, chronicled later, he actually put out a pretty good effort in the end. His seven strike outs are the best so far this year by an Indians pitcher and his 5.2 innings matched Danny Salazar for the second longest outing. Once again, Terry Francona was proven to do the right thing by allowing Carrasco to stay in the game after his early struggles. Most likely, an extra three innings of relief work wouldn’t have helped the team win any more than Carrasco and would have hurt them tomorrow.
Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire finally got his 1,000th win. He was expected to reach the milestone last season, but a four game sweep by the Indians to end the year killed that hope. Prior to today, the Indians had beaten the Twins six times in a row and the Twins had lost 13 of their last 15 overall. While the Twins have been major rivals over his tenure, everyone has to respect Gardy for what he has done with that team.
The run of Indians starters performing poorly continued today with Carlos Carrasco allowing five runs in the first three innings. Like Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and Salazar before him, Carrasco had issues with leaving balls up in the strike zone, leading to a few extra base hits, including a Brian Dozier home run on the second pitch of the game. Things got considerably better for Carrasco after the first, but he was still hit hard the entire time he was in the game.
The usually defensively sound catcher, Yan Gomes, was uncharacteristically terrible during the third inning today. Carrasco had struggled all game and given up a double to Trevor Plouffe after hitting Chris Colabello. With the runner on second and one out, Gomes gave up a passed ball with Josmil Pinto at the plate. A batter later, he gave up a second passed ball that allowed the run to score. Prior to this game, Gomes had only given up four passed balls in his entire career, all in 2013, and never more than one in a game, let alone an inning.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Minnesota Twins 7
Up Next: The Indians and Twins will meet up in the rubber match at 1:05 PM Sunday with aces Justin Masterson and Ricky Nolasco taking the mound.