Player of the Game
Travis Hafner was the best player in this game, even though he struck out 4 times and grounded into a double play. In his other two at bats he hit a single and a home run, scoring 2 runs and knocking in 2 more for a final 'Player of the Game' score of 4.87. It is his 8th 'Player of the Game' of the season. Chad Durbin took the loss, but with 5 consecutive good outings, he has finally moved onto the positive side of the ledger with a season total of 3.3. Of course both Justin Masterson and David Huff average more than this per game played, but its a good start to making Durbin a positive part of the "Bullpen Mafia".
Shin-Soo Choo has played decently in his return and has filled in well in the Indians lineup while Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis have nursed injuries. These injuries have allowed Manny Acta to delay his decision on where to ultimately place Choo in the lineup. In his 3 games back he has lead off and second although he will certainly be lowered in the lineup as soon as everyone is healthy. So far Choo has done his job as a top of the lineup hitter by getting on at least once every game with 2 singles and 2 walks and scoring a run in each game.
The Indians brought the score to within one three different times tonight and tied it in the 9th despite the fact that the White Sox scored in 5 different innings. Without this tenacious comeback ability, we would not have had the privilege of watching baseball in the morning yet again.
If you didn't know the players on the Indians roster very well, this was a great game for you to watch. Every healthy position player played as did every relief pitcher and two starters. Of the entire 25 man roster, only Jason Kipnis, Justin Masterson, Fausto Carmona and Josh Tomlin did not play.
Jason Kipnis has missed the last two games (would have been three if the last Twins game wasn't rained out) do to a sore side. He apparently hurt it on August 9th against the Tigers the night before he went 5-5. The Indians are hoping he will avoid the disabled list, but in the mean time he will be replaced in the field by Jason Donald. Kipnis played injured a few games and stayed in the lineup long enough for Michael Brantley to come back from his wrist injury so the Indians didn't have to do without both their one and two hitters in any one game.
This isn't exactly what the Indians expected when they traded for Ubaldo Jimenez, but he did keep them in the game. Four earned runs and 5 extra base hits in 4.2 innings are just not going to cut it in this Central Division race.
Alexei Ramirez cheated and got away with it when he blocked Michael Brantley from running to third on what should have been a double by Shin-Soo Choo. The umpire gave Brantley third, but Choo was forced to stay at first. Brantley scored on a sac fly that could have moved Choo from second to third, then he was retired on Travis Hafners double play. Who knows what could have happened if the umpire had made the right decision and given Choo second base.
Two days off in a row for the Indians, one scheduled day off and one postponed, have made the Tribe the team with the most games left to play this season. They have played 4 games less than Detroit and have at least 3 rain outs to make up against the Mariners, White Sox and Twins.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 - Chicago White Sox 8