Player of the Game
Josh Tomlin had a night for the ages and the best of his career tonight against the Mariners. He has always thrown strikes and pitched to contact, but tonight he was something spectacular, holding Seattle to just a single hit in a complete game shut out. As a team, it was the Indians first one hitter since Billy Traber against the Yankees in 2003. For Tomlin, he set a career high with 11 strike outs (previous high was eight) and threw his first complete game shut out. As the game went on, Tomlin improved, striking out the side in the eighth inning, part of four in a row in total. He was solid after the pitches as well, fielding his position well along with many plays where he had to cover first. Tomlin didn’t walk a batter and a fifth inning single by Kyle Seager was the only Mariners hit of the night. His 12.70 POG points marks this as not only his best career game, but the best game by any Indians player in 2014.
The Indians offense started early tonight, plating two in the first. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled with one out to begin the rally, then Michael Brantley brought him home with a single to left that saw him take second on the throw. Carlos Santana continued things with a double of his own to bring home Brantley. They added another two in the fifth with a timely hit and run (Mike Aviles scored from first on a Michael Bourn double) and a timely balk that moved Bourn to third before Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to knock him in.
Mariners’ manager Lloyd McLendon helped out the Tribe in an unusual way tonight, leading to the Indians fifth run. In the top of the sixth, Yan Gomes popped up down the first base line and Mariner’s catcher, Mike Zunino, was unable to make the play over the Seattle dugout because McLendon did not move. On the very next pitch, Yan Gomes smashed his ninth home run of the season to left field, pushing the Tribe lead to 5-0.
Someone will have to be sent down or released to make room for House to start tomorrow and it probably won’t be the people who deserve it most due to contract situations. Instead of Ryan Raburn, John Axford or Nick Swisher feeling the worry of a demotion, it will likely be Vinnie Pestano, who has played well since returning, or Nick Hagadone who feel the numbers crunch.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Seattle Mariners 0
On Deck: The rubber match will take place tomorrow at 4:10 PM ET in Seattle. T.J. House will be recalled to face one of the top pitchers in baseball, Felix Hernandez.