Player of the Game
Grady Sizemore won tonight's player of the game after accounting for 3 of the 6 Indians runs in what ended up being a one run game. Grady hit a double and home run, scoring twice and knocking two in. For those who think the math is wrong a 2 run home run counts for 2 RBI and a run, but only 2 runs for the team. Grady scored 5.66 'POG' points giving him more than one point in each of the Indians last four games. It is Grady's 5th of the season. Asdrubal Cabrera (4.20 'POG' points) and Matt LaPorta (2.91) each had great games as well as did the entire bullpen (7.04 combined score).
It may seem repetitive to keep mentioning the bullpen night after night, but if a player hit a home run every single game it would be worth mentioning and what the Bullpen Mafia is doing is helping the team win a lot more than a single home run. Yet again the bullpen, tonight consisting of Chad Durbin, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez, kept the opposition from scoring a single run to maintain a perilous one run lead for 4 innings. Every relief pitcher tonight got a decision with the first 4 getting holds and Chris Perez getting a save.
The Indians had a 6 man bench available for the second night in a row and will have it for tomorrow's game as well as only 3 starting pitchers are currently on the roster. Of course everyone is well rested right now so it isn't really necessary and the 6 players, have had a total of one at bat in the last two games. Hopefully Ezequiel Carrera will at least get one start before he's removed from the roster either for Jeanmar Gomez or Fausto Carmona.
The Indians grabbed a tie for first place in the Central Division last night and maintained first tonight by beating the Orioles. If they can just win every game for the rest of the season, they will be all set as the 2011 Central Division Champions.
They are who we though they were. The Orioles score a lot of runs and have terrible pitching. Not many surprises so far this series.
We've mentioned this before on BurningRiverBaseball, but it may be time to move Carlos Santana down in the lineup. One spot lower would have helped today as Grady Sizemore had a great game from the 5 spot and the Indians probably would have scored a few more runs without Santana's 0-4 performance. Santana left two runners in scoring position and struck out twice. This is not to say he is not a good hitter, just that he isn't as good as Sizemore and could benefit from a position in the lineup with less pressure.
Josh Tomlin made it through 5 innings to keep his record going, but just barely. Tomlin allowed 3 home runs (his only weakness this season) for a total of 5 earned runs. The first home run came off a 3-1 count where one of the balls was called for Tomlin going to his mouth while on the mound. It is possible that the combination of his poor control and his distress over being called for a free ball lead to the meat ball pitches he threw to Matt Weiters and Nolan Reimold that turned into home runs in the second inning.
Orlando Cabrera was thrown out stealing by 5 feet after getting a great jump. Might be time to get some younger wheels in there at second base. Off the top of my head, maybe someone like Jason Kipnis. Just a suggestion.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 - Baltimore Orioles 5