Player of the Game
Despite making the final out of the game with the tying run on first, Nick Swisher was the Tribe’s Player of the Game. He knocked in the first Indians run with a single and the last with a sacrifice fly. His 2.56 POG score gave him his third award on the season.
The Tribe got on the board first with a two out rally in the third. With his knuckle-ball working tonight, any hit of R.A. Dickey was a lucky hit and the Indians were lucky to string off a couple after they had no one on and two outs in the third. Mike Aviles started things off with a single, then, after a Michael Bourn walk, Nick Swisher singled to right to bring him in. It looked like Jose Bautista might have caught the ball on the play, but on the replays it was close, but an obvious trap, leading to the first run of the game.
Josh Outman deserves some credit today for putting out a fire in the sixth inning that allowed the Indians to stay in the game. He came in with just one out and two runners on after Masterson fell off the rails and got an easy ground out and a three pitch strike out of Kevin Pillar to end the inning. While it looked like mop up duty at the time, because he kept the Blue Jays from scoring, the Indians three runs in the top of the next inning were able to make it a close game again.
In addition to Outman, the rest of the Indians bullpen was solid, with John Axford, Marc Rzepczynski and C.C. Lee throwing the final two scoreless innings. Including Outman, the bullpen threw 2.2 scoreless innings, stranding three runners and striking out three. A walk by Rzepczynski was the only base runner allowed after the sixth.
Justin Masterson didn’t allow a base runner through the first three innings, but when he did, his first two hits allowed were extra base hits that lead to runs. Melky Cabrera lead off the fourth with an easy triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the next inning, Masterson gave up a home run to Juan Francisco that would possibly still be traveling if the game wasn’t played in a dome. As it were, the all or nothing player launched it into the second deck in right center and gave the Blue Jays a one run lead. Things didn’t get any better for Masterson as he walked Cabrera in the sixth and after an infield single, gave up a two run double to Adam Lind. Francisco added another RBI on a double to completely ruin Masterson’s night.
Masterson’s struggles were somewhat irrelevant, however, as the Indians hitters were confounded by a 39 year old starter who maxes out at 81 MPH. Outside of the events listed as ‘Feathers Up’, Dickey was dominant through his first six innings, striking out six while allowing just three hits, all singles. He did implode prior to departing in the seventh however, as a single, an error, a walk and hit batter lead to another Tribe run.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – Toronto Blue Jays 5
On Deck: The Indians will get away from the knuckle-balls, but stay in Toronto, playing another game with the Jays at 7:07 PM, tomorrow night.