Player of the Game
What happens when a team gets one hit and allows three runs? John Axford wins his second Player of the Game of the year. Axford came in for T.J. House in relief in the seventh inning with a runner on first and stranded him, striking out two in a perfect inning. His 1.70 POG score isn’t very impressive, but it vastly outperformed the entire offense, the highest and only positive score among which was Lonnie Chisenhall’s 0.01. Chisenhall was the only Indians with a hit in the game, but was picked off first after a line drive.
A day after Josh Tomlin put on a pitching clinic in a one sided affair, Felix Hernandez and T.J. House combined for a much more closely contested pitching duel. Through the first five, Hernandez and House traded zeros until the Mariners used an error and a Robinson Cano home run to get on board in the sixth. Other than that, House was superb, striking out five and allowing just seven base runners in six innings.
The Indians poor defense hurt the team again today as two errors were made on throws to first. Nick Swisher was credited with the first error on a missed catch of a Mike Aviles throw from second base, after which, House was forced to throw an extra 16 pitches to end the inning, all though no other damage was done. The second error came off a poor thrown from House himself that ended up running down the rightfield line, allowing Michael Saunders to reach third on what should have been an easy out. Saunders was credited with a single, but the ball clearly would have beat him to first. Right after the play, Cano hit a home run so the run was earned, but had the play been made, it would have been one less run scored. On that play, House was clearly at fault, but it seemed Swisher should have caught or at least stopped the ball anyway.
Felix Hernandez was as good as he has ever been against the Indians which is exactly how he has pitched all season long. He held the Tribe to one Lonnie Chisenhall seeing-eye single and three walks while striking out nine. The Indians did a great job working the count, as seen by the walks, but really saw nothing in the top half of the strike zone that they would have been able to hit. This lead to more than a couple strike outs looking, but there was little else the Indians could do. By working the count so well, they were able to get Hernandez pulled after the eighth inning, despite holding a shutout with a three run lead.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0 – Seattle Mariners 3
On Deck: Staying on the West Coast, but switching leagues, the Indians will play the Dodgers at 10:10 PM, tomorrow night.