Player of the Game
Matt LaPorta took the 'Player of the Game' award today, because he was the only player to knock in a run with his double, then score. LaPorta's 'POG' score of 2.48 was the lowest of any player this year that was the best in any game. So far this season the glory has been spread around and Matt LaPorta joins six other players with his 3rd award of the season. Three other players have won twice on the year and one player has one five times (Fausto Carmona). Jack Hannahan is the only starting position player yet to win and Alex White is the only starting pitcher.
Of all the games this series, this one was the hardest to win, so as long as the Indians win tomorrow, this loss won't matter much. With Carlos Carrasco coming back from injury and David Price starting for the Rays, this one was a long shot before the game even started.
Going back to May 3rd, the Indians have won every other game. Since they went into that day with a record of 19-8, that's just perfect. In fact the Indians could probably keep winning every other game for the rest of the season and still make the playoffs. The important thing now is to keep the losing streaks at one.
Carrasco pitched poorly in his first start back from his elbow injury, but that was to be expected. His real test will be his next start, now that he has seen Major League pitching again. Carlos stumbled through 5 innings, allowing 3 walks, 6 hits and 4 runs earning him the loss.
Today the hitting was bad and the pitching was bad. It's almost impossible to win when those two things happen at the same time. Everyone knew the home win streak would have to end at some point and it took a game like this to end it.
I wrote about the bullpen in before the game in a piece entitled, "Tribe Bullpen Needs Relief." What I wrote about there happened again, so I don't need to comment on it again other than to say that Justin Germano and Chad Durbin are a problem.
This is more of a quandry than a "Feathers Down," but why is Shelley Duncan still hitting in the middle of the lineup when he plays? If Duncan is good enough to bat 5th, then he is better than Matt LaPorta, meaning he should be starting at first base every day. If he is not better than Matt LaPorta, then maybe Matt LaPorta should be moved up in the lineup. It was one thing early in the season to bat him 4th on Carlos Santana's off days to keep Travis Hafner consistently batting in the 5th spot, but at this point, everyone on the team is comfortable enough at the plate, that the lineup can change every once in awhile. The order hasn't been hitting all that well of late anyway, and it wouldn't bother me to see a rearrangement of the hitters based on what they've done this season instead of preseason expectations.
Final Score: Tampa Bay Rays 8, Cleveland Indians 2