Roster Update: Josh Tomlin has been promoted to make tonight’s start and George Kottaras was the victim of the needed roster space. Kottaras was fantastic in his only start, hitting two home runs, but a third catcher is a luxury the Indians can’t afford right now and the chances are that it was just a fluke game anyway.
Player of the Game
Josh Tomlin was brilliant in his 2014 debut, doing what he does best, throw strikes and limit hits. Only five Twins reached base safely against Tomlin with the only run coming in his final inning when Chris Colabello hit a solo home run. In the end, Tomlin went 6.2 innings and struck out three for a POG score of 5.81.
After going ten innings without a run yesterday, the Indians put up two in the first tonight. Nick Swisher doubled to start things off and Michael Brantley brought him in for his 24th RBI. Just when the inning looking over as an easy ground ball went to first off the bat of David Murphy, Chris Colabello allowed the ball to get under his glove, scoring Brantley from third.
The Tribe added another two in the second on a few more hits, starting off with a Lonnie Chisenhall single. After a balk moved him to second, Yan Gomes doubled him in. Gomes himself scored later from third on a Swisher single up the middle. Unlike in previous games, the Indians not only were able to put together multiple scoring chances, but they were able to take care of some poor defense by the usually solid Twins.
Josh Tomlin has fit right into the starting rotation, keeping up a pretty impressive trend of starting pitching. Starting with Justin Masterson’s last start, the Indians’ rotation has thrown 28.2 innings with just two runs allowed. This shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone as Tomlin was always a dependable, even if not remarkable, starter. Including his starts in Columbus this season, he threw 23 straight scoreless innings of his own before giving up a solo home run to Colabello.
It may seem like the bullpen has been working extra hard lately, because of the two blown games by John Axford, but the opposite is actually the case. While Cody Allen, Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Axford have made nine appearances in the past four games, the rest of the bullpen hadn’t been used at all until Scott Atchison came in to start the eighth. This could be an especially big deal for Carlos Carrasco, who has been used just once since being added to the bullpen ten games ago.
As is always the case, errors hurt. Tonight, the Indians added a couple more to their already impressive totals and it almost cost the Tribe the game. Yan Gomes under threw Nick Swisher at first on an attempted strike out in the eighth inning, leading to a first and third situation that Atchison was able to work out of. Bryan Shaw was not able to overcome Asdrubal Cabrera’s error in the ninth, however, as the lead-off error lead to an unearned run after an Eduardo Escobar double.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – Minnesota Twins 2
On Deck: Danny Salazar and the Tribe will take on Ricky Nolasco and the Twins in the third game of the four game series at 7:05 PM, Wednesday night.