Player of the Game
Despite pitching on 12 days of rest, T.J. House was fantastic tonight, putting up one of the best three starts in his career (also 5/28 and 8/2). House pitched 5.1 shut out innings, allowing just four hits and walking three. It was his fourth straight game with at least five innings pitched and his tenth time in 12 starts overall. House struck out five on his way to his second career win. His POG score of 6.70 just beat out Mike Aviles, who knocked in two with a home run and a single.
Prior to the game it was announced that Nick Swisher will be having arthroscopic surgery on both knees and will miss the rest of the year. While this may initially seem negative, there are actually two great aspects about this news. First, Swisher’s knees were obviously a problem and ignoring them wasn’t making the situation any better. Acknowledging the problem and doing something about it is a greater positive than anything else he has done to this point this year. Secondly, rather than wasting at bats on an injured .200 hitter, those at bats can go to exciting young players like Zach Walters and Tyler Holt.
The Tribe put it all together tonight, added a solid enough offense with a little power and a little clutch to a great performance from T.J. House on the mound. Walters knocked in the first run of the game with an upper deck shot to right in the second, then the Indians added two more in the fourth. Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis hit a pair of doubles to start the inning, then Kipnis scored after a wild pitch and a Mike Aviles single. Chris Dickerson and Michael Bourn combined for another in the seventh and Aviles added a solo home run in the top of the ninth to finish things off.
Despite winning seven of their last nine games, the Indians have been unable to gain anything on the Central Division race. Going into the game on August 9th, the Indians were 6.5 games back in the Central behind the Tigers and although the team they are trailing has changed, the Indians were still 6 games back in the division when the game ended. This is largely because the Royals are on an epic hot streak, winning 17 of their last 20 games.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Minnesota Twins 0
On Deck: The Tribe will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with a 1:10 PM start time for get-away day. Both staffs will have their aces going as Corey Kluber will face Phil Hughes.