Player of the Game
Facing his former teammates was apparently just what Nick Swisher as the Indians DH came into the series batting just .197, but has been on fire for three games, knocking in five runs on three hits, including two home runs. Today, he put the finishing touches on a strong first inning, hitting a two run single to score Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley. Jason Kipnis started the inning off with a hit, then scored on a Lonnie Chisenhall ground out. Brantley also singled in the inning, while Santana was safe on a Mark Teixeira error. While nothing to get too excited about, that single gave Swisher a five game hitting streak and raised his batting average above .200 for the first time since June 19th. He narrowly beat out Carlos Santana and Mark Rzepczynski for the Player of the Game, despite striking out in the most important at bat of the game.
Josh Tomlin was strong tonight, except when facing Mark Teixeira. Teixeira accounted for three of the Yankees four runs against Tomlin, otherwise, he allowed just one extra base hit and six hits total. Tomlin also struck out five in his seven innings and didn’t walk or hit a batter, which combined with the Indians flawless defense, lead to a pretty clean game. Tomlin now has 69 strike outs on the season to just nine walks. Yankees shortstop, Brendan Ryan, was one of the biggest aids to Tomlin as he struck out in all three at bats against Josh, then in his fourth at bat against Bryan Shaw as well.
Chris Dickerson has been a huge surprise to start his Indians career, especially considering he spent the first half of the year in AAA with Pittsburgh. In his three games with the Tribe, he has batted 4/11 including two singles tonight. He has now hit in all three games and while that is not all too impressive, it is positive the career .263 putting good contact onto the ball to start.
Both bullpens were enough to get the game to extra innings after the two starters each allowed four runs. For the Indians, Cody Allen pitched through a risky tenth, but didn’t allow a run. For the Yankees, Adam Warren got the first out, then former Indians disappointment, David Huff, came in and walked all three batters he faced. Shawn Kelly then ended the Indians hopes by striking out Swisher and inducing a weak ground out from David Murphy to end the inning, stranding three.
With all the innings, each starter got plenty of at bats and Lonnie Chisenhall’s were finally enough to qualify him for the batting title. Although it is too little too late to get into the All-Star game, he now sits fifth in the AL with a .325 average. In the mean time, Michael Brantley has surpassed him and is now fourth with a .326.
Of course, the efforts of Teixeira can’t be discounted as the Yankee slugger did hit two home runs off Tomlin, leading to three Yankee runs. On the other hand, it was Teixeira’s error in the first that lead to three unearned runs, so in a way, he canceled himself out.
After six great innings of relief tonight and 14.2 scoreless innings in the series, the Indians bullpen finally cracked in the 14th inning as Vinnie Pestano gave up a solo home run to Jacoby Ellsbury, his first run allowed in nine appearances since his most recent call-up. The run was all the Yankees needed as the Indians were unable to score in the bottom of the inning.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – New York Yankees 5
On Deck: The Indians and Yankees will wrap up their four game series with another 7:05 PM start time tomorrow. It will be Derek Jeter’s final game at Progressive Field and he and the rest of the Yankees will be facing left handed rookie, T.J. House.