Player of the Game
With the three run home run that put the game away, Jason Giambi wins his second Player of the Game of 2013. Giambi also doubled earlier in the game for a POG score of 6.01. He barely edged out starting pitcher Justin Masterson who played well, but only pitched six innings.
Through the first three innings a pair of solo home runs kept the game tied. Joey Votto took Justin Masterson deep with the only Reds hit over that span and Mark Reynolds came back with a home run of his own in his first at bat in the third inning.
Jason Giambi had a great game in his first start in six games. Giambi came into the game with good numbers against Bronson Arroyo and he continued that trend with a double (that should have knocked in a run) and a three run home run in his next at bat.
Justin Masterson pitched well tonight, despite getting into a few difficult situations. He got out of the worst situation, the bases loaded with no one out in the sixth, with no damage when he was able to get Xavier Paul to ground the ball right back to him, allowing to go to home and then first for the double play. With two outs, Masterson got an easy fly ball from Ryan Hanigan to end the inning.
The Indians had a good chance to test their new bullpen in a low stress situation tonight. Newly ordained set-up man Cody Allen pitched a perfect seventh before Joe Smith threw a scoreless eighth. Vinnie Pestano threw the ninth as scheduled, but was not as perfect as the rest of the bullpen, giving up a lead-off home run to Xavier Paul. The best part of the whole test was that they were able to use their top pitchers with a four run lead. Coming off a five game losing streak, Terry Francona wasn't going to take any chances in losing this one.
Two base running mistakes cost the Indians an unknown number of runs in the fourth inning. First, Nick Swisher was unable to score from second base on a Jason Giambi double, even though it hit the wall and was obviously not going to be caught. The play at the plate wasn't even close and Swisher never touched the plate. During the next at bat, Giambi decided to go double-or-nothing and attempt to steal third base. To the surprise of no one, Giambi and his old legs were out by a mile.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Cincinnati Reds 2