7/2 Recap: Defense Delivers Dicey, Deciding Win Versus Dodgers

Player of the Game
For the second night in a row, a player won their first Player of the Game of the season, an oddity since we are half way through the year. This time is was Ryan Raburn, who hit just his second home run of the year, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Mike Aviles had a good game as well, knocking in two with two singles and stealing his eighth base of the year. Now that Gomes and Raburn have won, only George Kottaras and three relievers on the active roster are yet to win a Player of the Game in 2014.

Feathers Up
The Indians are used to seeing great throws come out of left field, but today it wasn’t Michael Brantley, but Mike Aviles who used his strong arm to keep A.J. Ellis from going to second on a ball that hit off the wall in left in the first inning. This was not the only great defensive play of the inning as Asdrubal Cabrera made a slick pick at short to end the inning, keeping the game scoreless.

Nowhere near the pitcher he once was, Brian Wilson came into the game with a one run lead in the eighth, trying to earn a hold for LA. After walking both Brantley and Carlos Santana to start the inning, he easily struck out Yan Gomes on three pitches. David Murphy pinch hit for Raburn and came through with an opposite field single on a 1-0 count. Brantley scored the tying run on the play, but Juan Uribe made things even worse for the Dodgers when he didn’t attempt to catch the throw from left, allowing both runners to advance. This was important as, after Lonnie Chisenhall was intentionally walked, Mike Aviles put one into the gap in right-center to score two more and give the Indians the lead.

Feathers Down
The Indians weren’t the only ones to bring their gloves today as it took two tremendous plays by the Dodgers to keep Cleveland from scoring in the fifth. Cabrera started things off with a one out double, but was kept at second when Miguel Rojas made an all out diving catch on a Brantley liner. After a Carlos Santana single looked to give the Indians a 3-0 lead, Scott Van Slyke threw out Cabrera running home by ten feet to end the inning.

Playing in a National League park, American League teams are already at a disadvantage, but facing opposing pitchers is generally a positive. It hasn’t been this series, however, as Josh Beckett hit two doubles yesterday and Hyun-Jin Ryu came through with another two hits today. With two outs and a runner on first in the fifth, Ryu doubled down the right field line to give LA their first score of the day. Apparently shaken, Trevor Bauer then walked the next two before Andre Ethier singled to center, scoring both Ryu and Dee Gordon from second to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.

Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Los Angeles Dodgers 4

On Deck: Take a day away from the Indians to spend with your family on Thursday, because the Tribe need your full attention on the Fourth of July as they take on the Royals in the first of three.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB