Player of the Game
The only spark in the Indians offense today, Jack Hannahan, pulled in his first 'Player of the Game' of the year. Hannahan was the only player to get to second until the 8th inning, when he became the first player to get to third. He was one of only two Indians hitters not to strike out (with Matt LaPorta) and had almost as many hits as the rest of the team combined (2 for Hannahan, 3 for everyone else). Mitch Talbot probably should have won the award, but was unable to pitch past the 6th inning due to some unprofessional umpiring. Hannahan's final 'POG' score was 1.01, while Talbot's was 0.82. Lou Marson and Matt LaPorta were the only other players with positive scores.
The Bullpen Mafia appeared together at MLB's Fan Cave before yesterday's game. They recorded a short which should be released soon on the MLB Fan Cave site. Today Jack Hannahan and Josh Tomlin are scheduled to visit.
The Tribe did a great job eliminating base runners today, which is very important when playing a hard slugging team like the Yankees. Lou Marson through out Brett Gardener on a steal attempt of second after the Indians threw two pitch outs, and later caught Jorge Posada leaning off second base. Mitch Talbot helped himself out as well, getting Jorge Posada to ground into a double play and picking Gardner off second.
Mitch Talbot was ejected on a hit by pitch that was obviously not intentional. Talbot slipped on the wet surface of the mound and plunked Alex Rodriguez on the thigh with a pitch in the mid 80's. Home plate umpire, Dan Iassogna, who heavily favored the Yankees today, tossed Talbot immediately after the pitch was thrown. Mitch Talbot is a Morman and would never intentionally hit a batter. It's against his character.
When saying that the home plate umpire favored the Yankees, I'm not kidding. Yankees hitters all enjoyed a strike zone that was at least 4 inches smaller than that given to the Indians hitters. All except for Francisco Cervelli, who apparently hasn't earned his pinstripes yet.
With Shelley Duncan gone, the Indians have nobody who can pinch hit late in games or play back-up first base when Matt LaPorta is designated hitter. This severely limits late inning rallies for the Tribe. Manny Acta obviously has no trust in either Austin Kearns or Travis Buck as neither have played in the last four games.
You would think a team would have a good chance of beating the Yankees when limiting them to 4 runs on 3 home runs, but that is not the case with the Tribe. This offense is floundering and needs a major change soon whether that comes from within or without. The Indians have been shut out 6 of the last 22 games and are in danger of falling into a tie for first in the Central Division if the Tigers win tonight.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0, New York Yankees 4
Cleveland's Bullpen Mafia in NYC. Photo from http://mlbfancave.mlb.com/fancave/