Player of the Game
Josh Tomlin earned a 'Player of the Game' score of 5.89 with a no decision, pitching 7.1 innings, getting him today's 'Player of the Game' award. Tomlin's only run allowed came when he walked a batter in the 8th and was pulled from the game. The run scored against Vinnie Pestano on a single. Tomlin only allowed 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 hit batter. This is Tomlin's second 'Player of the Game' of 2011, his first coming in his first start of the season.
Today the Indians used the sacrifice bunt where it was meant to be used, in a tie game, with your worst hitter up and runners on first and second. Adam Everett came through, got the bunt down and the Tribe scored two runs directly after.
Josh Tomlin created a new record for the Indians by pitching at least 5 innings in his first 16 starts to begin his career. In the Indians 110 year history, no other pitcher has ever done that. Take it for what its worth. Because he pitched in 5+ innings today, he will have a chance to keep the streak going in his next start against the Royals (4/27).
When I mentioned during the first series, against the White Sox, that it seemed like the Indians hitters were striking out less than normal, it was because I am used to seeing the Indians strike out like they have been in this series. By my count, Tribe hitters struck out 30 times in the four game series, 7 of those coming today. Six of today's strikeouts came against world renowned power pitcher Sean O'Sullivan.
To go along with the strikeouts, there seems to have been a power outage this series. While there were some extra-base hits, there wasn't a single home run hit by an Indians batter. Up to this point in the season, the power hitting has been pretty reliable, so we can hope it has more to do with Kauffman Stadium than the Indians hitters. In the last game before this series, the finale against Baltimore, the Indians hit 3 home runs (Sizemore, Hafner, Santana).
There's a chance that Josh Tomlin may have been taken out of the game a little too early tonight. I know that hindsight is 20/20 and its easy to second guess the manager, but Tomlin hadn't allowed a run all game and was very proficient at getting ground balls. With the way Tony Sipp struggled yesterday, it would have been nice to see Tomlin try to make it a complete game shut-out. Pitch count was not an issue as he was around 90 pitches when he was removed. The Indians don't have a complete game by any starter this year. In fact, no starting pitcher has even recorded an out in the 9th inning.
Final Score: Indians split the four game series with the Royals
Cleveland Indians 2, Kansas City Royals 3