Player of the Game
With the win, Ubaldo Jimenez wins his second 'Player of the Game' award since entering Cleveland. With a score of 5.73, Jimenez just beat out a couple of offensive stars (Lonnie Chisenhall 5.35 and Jim Thome 4.43) for the honor. Jimenez pitched another great game, going 6.1 innings and only allowing a single run that came in against relief pitcher Tony Sipp. Ubaldo only allowed 5 hits while striking out 4 and walking 3. Jimenez has pitched at least 6 innings in each of his last 5 starts and has never given up more than 3 earned runs in a game. As of late he has become exactly the type of pitcher that the Indians expected when they traded for him. The Indians current playoff position has nothing to do with the production of neither him or the other trade pick-up, Kosuke Fukudome.
The offense scored some runs tonight, aided in part by a certain nonchalance by the Twins defense. While all the runs were earned, only one was scored via the home run. One instance stands out in particular when, in the 4th inning, Jim Thome scored from second on a Lonnie Chisenhall single. While this wasn't a big deal in itself, the outfielder, unable to get Thome at the plate threw there anyway, allowing both Shelley Duncan and Lonnie to take extra bases. They both scored on Lou Marson's RBI single during the next at bat.
Jim Thome deserves some credit for this win as he provided the winning margin in the 9th inning with a solo home run. It was the 603rd home run of his career. He remains (and will for some time) the Cleveland Indians all-time home run leader.
The Chiz Kid produced again going 3-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Lonnie Chisenhall even ran the bases well, taking the extra base 3 times on the night. It was also nice to see him play solid defense as some of his recent offensive triumphs have been overshadowed by his poor glovework. Most recently his boot of a ball 2 games ago that lead to 5 unearned runs.
The Indians aren't the only ones battling injuries this season. The day after the Indians shut down Shin-Soo Choo for the season, the Twins had to do the same thing with Joe Mauer. The Twins are now without Mauer and Justin Morneau for the rest of the season and have been without them for most of the season to this point. Outside of Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, there were no players in the Twins starting line up with more than a year of Major League service. Kubel went down with an injury during the game as well.
It's completely unfair that the Indians had to play in Texas in 100° heat and the next day had to play outside in Minnesota where it is 56°. Poor Michael Brantley sprained a hamstring and stubbed his toe today and he's riding the bench.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 - Minnesota Twins 6