With the Tampa Bay Lightning playing in game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I'd like to congratulate Matt LaPorta for his silver sombrero (4 strike out) night.
Player of the Game
Joe Smith wins his first 'Player of the Game' of the year for getting three people out. It has to be a bad night when the 'Player of the Game' only pitches one inning. Smith earned a score of 1.04 for his inning pitched. Also of note, Josh Tomlin's earned his first negative score of the season, following Mitch Talbot's negative start, leaving Alex White as the only player on the Indians to not have a negative game. He will surely keep this going as he will be on the disabled list for the next couple of months.
With Grady Sizemore returning from the disabled list, Manny Acta has decided to throw a new lineup onto the field. Grady has moved to the 6th place in the order and Carlos Santana has been moved down to the 7th. Many have asked for Santana to be lowered in the lineup until he starts hitting better, and Acta has reacted. One questionable move was placing Shelley Duncan and Matt LaPorta ahead of Sizemore for tonight's game, but it was probably just a one day move, since Shin-Soo Choo was kept on the bench against David Price.
Since the Indians are playing in Tampa, I got to listen to their broadcast team instead of STO, allowing me to hear one of the coolest guys in baseball, Brian Anderson. Anderson grew up in Geneva, Ohio, very close to where I grew up, and pitched for the Indians for a couple years. Its always great to hear BA talk about baseball.
Since Josh Tomlin pitched tonight, here is the obligatory home run allowed feathers down. Tomlin allowed two more home runs tonight, but unlike the home runs he has allowed in the past, these were two-run home runs. Josh has now given up 10 home runs on the season for those keeping track.
There was no slowing down Rays starter David Price tonight. Even with the home plate umpire making him throw five strikes to each batter and the Indians hitting balls and shattered bats at his head, he still struck out 12 and didn't allow a run over 7 innings. There is no question that Price is among the elite of American League pitchers.
On normal days, the Indians have one of the best defensive outfields in the league. With Grady in center, Michael Brantley in left and Shin-Soo Choo in right, there is speed all around and not one of them is afraid or unable to make a full extension diving catch. However, with Shelley Duncan in left and Austin Kearns in right, it looks like the outfield is made of molasses. After seeing the way Rays left-fielder Sam Fuld played tonight, it was very easy to be jealous when comparing him to the statue that is Shelley Duncan. The Indians have said that Grady Sizemore is likely to stay at DH while playing on artificial surfaces, meaning he will probably only play one game in the outfield on this entire road trip (Tampa and Toronto). Hopefully his knee feels all better by the time they get back to Cleveland so we will have an outfield to be proud of once again.
Final Score: The Indians lose their season worst third game in a row and fall to 30-18, but remain in first place.
Cleveland Indians 0
Tampa Bay Rays 5