Player of the Game
The 'Player of the Game' leaderboard was updated today and can be viewed here. There is also an explanation of the 'Player of the Game' scoring system there. For those who haven't seen it, there is a link to this page on top of the BurningRiverBaseball.com home page entitled Player of the Game.
Today's 'Player of the Game' was the Sipper, Tony Sipp. This continues a trend where 4 of the last 10 'Player of the Game' winners have been relief pitchers. This is Sipp's first 'Player of the Game' of 2011 and he won it by pitching a perfect 8th inning, striking out all three batters to keep the game a 2 run affair.
Mitch Talbot dropped his ERA like it was hot today, knocking his 4.50 ERA down to 4.18. After allowing 8 runs in 3 innings in his return from the disabled list, Talbot has pitched masterfully, only allowing 3 runs in his last two games over a span of 12.2 innings.
Manny Acta looked good again today as another one of his moves worked out. Joe Smith intentionally walked Michael Young to face Adrien Beltre, who has 43 RBI on the season, with the bases loaded. Smith was able to get Beltre to ground into a double play to end the 7th inning and keep the game close at 2-0.
After a couple rocky outings, the bullpen mafia seems to be back in full force as Smith, Tony Sipp and Chris Perez pitched 3 total innings. Smith stranded two inherited runners and Sipp struck out the side in the 8th.
The Indians lose four straight games for the first time this season. Luckily the Indians built up a huge lead in the AL Central race and still lead by 3 games over the Tigers. With the last place Twins coming into town next, the Indians may be able to regain some of that lost space.
In the Indians last 10 losses they have scored more than 2 runs only once. Before those ten losses, the Tribe had only been shutout once, by Angels ace Dan Haren, but since they have been shutout 4 times. A couple of these games were also against very good pitchers like today's starter C.J. Wilson and Jake Peavy, but others were against only average pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Derek Holland.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0, Texas Rangers 2