Player of the Game
Today's 'Player of the Game' was won in the first inning, when the Indians scored 5 of their 7 runs and had 7 of their 11 hits. Orlando Cabrera was lucky to hit in the lineup where he does, as he was one of two players to come up with the bases loaded that inning. Cabrera made the best of it, hitting a bases clearing double and later scoring on a single by Jack Hannahan. The rest of Cabrera's game was pretty mundane, but he did walk once later, earning him a 'Player of the Game' score of 5.14 netting him his third award of the season, tying him with Fausto Carmona for the team lead. The weird thing about this is that his per game average 'POG' score is less than 4 other starting hitters (Sizemore, A. Cabrera, Hafner and Hannahan).
The Tribe had a great first inning against the Royals, scoring enough runs to win the game before two outs were made. Yesterday, every hitter in the lineup got a hit, except two batters in the whole game. Today, they did that in an inning. Only Grady Sizemore and Austin Kearns were held hitless in the first, and both later had hits of their own.
Josh Tomlin had a great rhythm tonight. While Royals starting pitcher, Jeff Francis, was taking his time, making constant pick-off attempts to first and throwing 70 pitches in three innings, Tomlin breezed through his time on the mound. Tomlin never looked like he was in trouble and only gave up 2 runs, both on solo home runs. Josh earned his 4th win in his 5th start and kept his streak of pitching at least 5 innings in a game going by pitching 6 innings.
The offense was popping again tonight. While they didn't match their run total from last night, the Indians did accomplish a weird stat. Every batter who stepped to the plate either scored or knocked in a run. Most just had one of either, but there were some stand outs like Orlando Cabrera with 3 RBI and a run scored and Travis Hafner who also knocked in a run and scored. Most of the scoring did take place in the first, but they never gave up and the Tribe put single runs on the board two more times during the game.
Austin Kearns has had a slow start this year, which is why today was the first game he has played in out of the last 6. He didn't help his cause today going 1-4 with a double play and an error. When it was time to make a roster move for Grady Sizemore to come back from the disabled list, Travis Buck was sent down, because he had minor league options left, even though he was outplaying Kearns. With Sizemore and Michael Brantley now on the roster, I don't expect to see Kearns get much playing time in the future and if he can't produce any better than he is now, he is a candidate to be released, either when Donald gets back, or if a minor league outfielder (like Travis Buck) starts hitting really well.
The defense at first base is really not very good this year. In the ninth inning Manny Acta replaced Shelley Duncan at first with Matt LaPorta and LaPorta proceeded to under throw Chad Durbin on a grounder to first, for what should have been called an error. This isn't really anything new and if Matt LaPorta keeps hitting he can join the long lineage of bad defensive first basemen, including Travis Hafner, Ben Broussard, Jim Thome, Eddie Murray and any others that may have come before my time.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7, Kansas City Royalty 2