Player of the Game
The Indians had two players knock in all seven runs scored today and they batted 8th and 9th. Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Aviles combined for two home runs and seven RBI, going 5/7 with a sacrifice bunt. The bunt belonged to Chisenhall in the eighth inning as he moved Jason Kipnis from first to second so Aviles could knock him in with a single. Both players hit three run home runs, but the extra RBI and hit gave Aviles the nudge as he won his fifth Player of the Game of the season. Worth noting, Bryan Shaw’s 1.2 IP with 3 K’s and a win was worth 3.57 points, the most by any pitcher in relief this season.
The Indians took advantage of a good match-up for the weather both offensively and defense. It was a very windy day at Progressive Field today, with the wind blowing in from right and out to left. This favored the Tribe as they had a right hand heavy line-up going against Rockies left hander, Franklin Morales. This was most prominent in the second inning when Justin Morneau hit a hard ball, deep to right that was blown down in play for an out. In the bottom half, Mike Aviles pulled one with significantly worse contact, but it sailed over the wall in left with a little help from the wind.
The second was a big inning for the Tribe that ended with the Aviles home run. Yan Gomes and David Murphy started things off with singles and were at second and third for Lonnie Chisenhall after a passed ball. Chisenhall singled Gomes in for the first run of the game, giving the Indians runners at first and third again. This time, Aviles hit the fly to left that gave the Indians a four run lead.
Trevor Bauer had some problems in the bottom of the third, giving up two runs in an inning that started with a walk, but this is a positive note. Bauer didn’t allow things to get out of control when it seemed they were just ripe to. With runners on second and third after a double steal, two of the best hitters in baseball were coming to the plate. Bauer struck out Carlos Gonzalez on a fastball after an eight pitch at bat then went to work on Troy Tulowitzki. After five pitches lead to 3-2 count, Bauer struck out the MVP candidate looking with an amazing curve ball that broke right over the middle of the plate.
In whole, Bauer was tremendous, striking out eight and throwing six innings, with the only runs coming in the inning detailed above. In all, he allowed just four hits and one walk, a start contrast to his start against Baltimore last time around, when he gave up four runs in 4.1 innings. He did strike out eight in that game, giving him two straight games with at least eight K’s and the Indians starters at least eight strike outs in six of their last seven
The bullpen hadn’t had any major malfunctions during the past week so they were due for a really nasty one today. After a beautiful start by Bauer and two home runs gave the Tribe a 6-2 lead Scott Atchison and Josh Outman, two pitchers who had been wonderful so far in May, gave it all up. Atchison started the seventh and gave up a solo home run to Corey Dickerson, then singles to Wilin Rosario and D.J. LeMahieu before being relieved by Outman with one out. Outman threw just one pitch, a hanging slider that Charlie Blackmon crushed to right for a game tying three run home run. Bryan Shaw then stuck out the last two batters and threw another perfect inning onto that for good measure.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 – Colorado Rockies 6
On Deck: The Indians will look for the sweep against the Rockies with Josh Tomlin on the mound at 1:05 PM in Cleveland.