Player of the Game
With a score of 3.32, a relief pitcher once a gain takes home the Player of the Game for the 3rd time this year. Joe Smith won his first award, pitching 1.2 perfect innings in today's loss.
Since I complained about it so much last season, I feel that I should mention it when the Indians do the right thing. I am very happy with backup catcher, Lou Marson's playing time. He has been used in only three games this season and not surprisingly the Indians have lost two of the games that Marson has started. While it is a small sample size, it reinforces the obvious that Marson is not part of the best lineup the Indians can put on the field.
Shelley Duncan proved that he can play left field, even in the last few inning of the game, with a diving catch on the warning track. Duncan has been removed from games in late innings this year for Aaron Cunningham, a defensive upgrade, but with Shin-Soo Choo day-to-day, Duncan has proven that he can flash the leather.
Josh Tomlin's performance left something to be desired today as he allowed 8 hits along with an uncharacteristic 2 walks and a hit batter. Indians starters as a whole have struggled going deep into games. Josh Tomlin and Justin Masterson are the only Indians pitchers to pitch through 8 innings and the Indians have no complete games. Since the first time through the rotation, only Tomlin has pitched as many as 7 innings. In the past 13 games, 4 starters were pulled before the 5th and only 5 have made it through the 6th.
If not offensively, Shin-Soo Choo is sorely missed defensively in the outfield. His replacement, Aaron Cunningham made a couple of poor throws from right field today and the Royals runners showed no fear when taking an extra base on a hit to right.
Play of the Game
Michael Brantley hit a drag bunt single down the first baseline in the sixth. The hit brought his average above .200 and lead to the Indians second run.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 - Kansas City Royals 4