Best of the First Half

The All-Star break is here so it's time to look back at some of the things that happened during the Indians first 95 games. Here are the best so far this year and make sure to check back at the end of the season for the Indians top ten defensive and offensive plays.

Best Offensive Play
4/3 Mark Reynolds hits go ahead home run in 11th inning.

The Indians have had quite a few late inning comebacks, but the first is my favorite. Mark Reynolds hit his first home run as an Indian and gave the Indians the go ahead run in just the second game of the year. This mammoth shot was a prelude to an amazing first two months with the Tribe.

Runner Up: 5/20 Yan Gomes hit a 10th inning three run home run against Seattle to give the Indians their third walk off wins in the four game series.

Best Defensive Play
6/10 Mark Reynolds goes crazy.

This play is hard to explain. Reynolds made a magnificent catch and throw that should have been called an out at first, but wasn't. Nick Swisher then alertly threw back to Reynolds at third to get the runner that was attempting to go from first to third. It should have been called a double play, but even with just the out at third it is the most amazing play so far this year.

Runner Up: 4/2 There are no plays near Reynolds' in quality, but there was a great one on Opening Day in Toronto when Asdrubal Cabrera flipped the ball behind his back to Jason Kipnis who turned the double play.

Best Offensive Performance
7/7 Michael Brantley: 3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 Runs

Brantley has been one of the Indians most consistant hitters since he has been part of the team, but he has never been a power hitter. Things changed in a recent game against Detroit when Brantley hit a double and a home run off starting pitcher Doug Fister and a second home run later off Al Albuquerque. He set career highs in home runs and RBI while providing enough runs to beat Detroit by himself as the Tigers scored six runs. His effort earned him a Player of the Game score of 11.53.

Worst Offensive Performance: Two players tied for this honor as both Jason Kipnis (4/3) and Michael Bourn (6/15) have went 0-5 with two strike outs and two runners left in scoring position. This is good for a Player of the Game score of -0.60.

Best Defensive Performance
6/19 Mark Reynolds: Three great plays at first base.

The Indians knew they were improving their defense this offseason with the additions of Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs, but they never though that Reynolds could actually be a defensive asset. In this game he turned three great plays (the best is seen above) and all season he has been better than expected at both third and first.

Worst Defensive Game: On June 7th, Nick Swisher had a day to forget that we are now remembering for him. Swisher committed two errors that allowed three unearned runs to the Tigers on a day that the Indians lost by two runs. Of all the days for the usually solid defensive first baseman to fall apart, he picked about the worst one possible.

Best Start
6/30 Justin Masterson: Complete Game Shut Out, 8 K's, W

Masterson has thrown three complete game shut outs this year, but his last was his best, outdueling Cy Young candidate Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. Four double plays and a pick off helped him face just three batters above the minimum. The start earned him a Player of the Game score of 11.30.

Worst Start: Owner of two of the worst four starts this year, Carlos Carrasco made the worst start for an Indians pitcher this year on July 6th. Carrasco threw 3.1 innings and allowed six earned runs as well as an unearned run off his own error. Six of his ten hits allowed went for extra bases and he struck out just two while taking the loss. His Player of the Game score was -11.09.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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